Media Need to Be Used for Gospel, Says John Paul II

Urges Moves to Counter Unethical Use of Social Communications

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 20, 2004 ( John Paul II appealed to all the faithful to be conscious of the importance of the Catholic media in the «cultural atmosphere in which we all live.»

The Pope encouraged the Church’s involvement in the media when he received in audience today the general assembly of the Italian bishops’ conference, which a day earlier approved a directory entitled «Communication and Mission.»

«We know well the penetrating influence that the media exercises today on ways of thinking and on behavior, personal and collective, orienting toward a view of life that, unfortunately, often tends to corrode fundamental ethical values, in particular, those that affect the family,» the Holy Father said.

«The means of communication are presented to be used also for different ends and results, contributing in a notable way to the affirmation of positive models of life and to the very spread of the Gospel,» he added.

John Paul II assured the Italian bishops of his support «in the commitment with which, for many years, you sustain and promote the Catholic newspaper and the diocesan weeklies.» The newspaper he referred to is Avvenire, published by the episcopal conference.

More recently, the Pope referred to the Italian bishops’ commitment in this field, which has become more intense with «a qualified Christian presence in the realm of radio-television,» in particular, with channel Sat2000.

«I desire profoundly that all Italian Catholics understand and share the importance of this commitment, contributing to making the cultural atmosphere in which we all live more positive and serene,» he said.

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