Cinema World Urged to Be Instrument of Peace

Papal Message to Conference Held in Colombia

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 5, 2001 ( In a message to a conference on spiritual films, John Paul II urged film producers to make the cinema an instrument of peace.

The Sept. 24-28 conference “Tertio Millennio” was held in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, and organized by the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, in collaboration with the Colombian government, an Italian Catholic cinema organization and St. Bonaventure University.

Twenty-two films were shown in various theaters. The initiative was part of the centenary celebrations of the raising of the Archdiocese of Cartagena to metropolitan status.

In the message sent through Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, the Pope appeals to directors, actors and agents of the film world to promote authentic humanism, by proposing universal values and models of civil coexistence.

“In the measure that the cinema presents a humanism according to the Gospel, creator of an authentic culture of man and for man, it will foster dialogue between peoples and a culture of peace, bringing people and different types of societies closer, showing signs of a credible and lasting solidarity, an imperative for a peaceful world,” the Pope stated.

The International Festival of Spiritual Cinema gathered personalities of the Colombian political and cultural realm, as well as Vatican cinema specialists.

Among the films presented were “A Time to Die,” with a script by Gabriel García Márquez, and “Life as a Fatal Sexually Transmitted Disease,” the last film of Polish film director Krzysztof Zanussi, consultor of the Pontifical Council for Culture.

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