World Day to Reflect on Risky Side of the Media

VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 29, 2003 ( John Paul II has chosen the theme for the 2004 World Communications Day: “The Media in the Family: A Risk and a Richness.”

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The Pope’s message for Communications Day is traditionally published on Jan. 24, feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron of writers. Next year World Communications Day falls on May 23.

A note today from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications stated that “for the first time, the announcement of the theme was made on Sept. 29, the feast of the Archangels Michael, Raphael and Gabriel, the last of whom has been designated the patron saint of radio.”

Archbishop John Foley, council president, said in the communiqué that the theme chosen “reflects the Holy Father’s concern that the media should enrich family life and not damage it.”

“He is aware of the many periodicals and programs of excellence which help to educate and inspire families,” the archbishop said. “But he is also concerned about the negative influences of the media on family life through materialism and even the depiction of pornography and violence.”

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