John Paul II Laments Media Distortion of Magisterial Documents

Calls for Opportune Methods of Transmitting Church Teaching

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 6, 2004 ( John Paul II lamented that the media often distort documents of the magisterium, and he asked that opportune methods be found for the transmission of Church teaching.

The faithful are often «disoriented more than informed by immediate reactions and interpretations by the media,» the Pope said.

The Holy Father expressed his concern when he met today with participants of the plenary session convoked every two years by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

«Reception of a document must be seen above all as an ecclesial event of welcoming the magisterium,» the Pope said.

«It is a question, in fact, of an authoritative word that shines light on a truth of faith or on several aspects of Catholic doctrine that are contested or distorted by particular currents of thought or action,» he added.

«Precisely in this doctrinal instruction is found the profoundly pastoral character of the document, the reception of which becomes, therefore, a propitious occasion of formation, catechesis and evangelization,» the Holy Father said.

«For the reception to become a genuine ecclesial event, it is appropriate to provide opportune methods of transmission and diffusion of the document itself which allows for full awareness,» he added.

The Pope insisted that such a document must be accepted by the pastors of the Church «as teaching that contributes to form the Christian conscience of the faithful in the face of the challenges of the contemporary world.»

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