VATICAN (CWN) -- Pope John Paul II today encouraged the word of evangelization through the media. He added that Christians have a duty not only to use the media as instruments of evangelization, but also to evangelize those people who work in the media.

      The Pope's message was addressed to the plenary meeting of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, which is meeting in Rome this week. The Pope's message also saluted the past president of the Council, Cardinal Andrzej Maria Deskur, as well as its acting head, Archbishop John P. Foley.

      Modern instruments of communications give the Church opportunities to spread the Gospel message with "a new method, a new expression, and a new zeal," the Holy Father said. But he cautioned that the media are not isolated sector from society; they reflect the overall culture, and so they too must be the objects as well as the instruments of evangelization.

      In order to use the media effectively in evangelization, then, the Pope said that the Church must evangelize the media. He emphasized "the priority of people over things," and of "ethics over technology," saying that spiritual efforts would always prove superior to material means of effecting conversions.

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March 23, 19938 volume 9, no. 58         DAILY CATHOLIC