On World Communications Day

Use Media With Wisdom and Prudence, Urges Pope

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 23, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the address John Paul II delivered today before praying the midday Regina Caeli with the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square. The address was given in Italian.

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1. Today, in Italy and in other countries, is celebrated the solemn liturgy of the Ascension of the Lord, which reveals how humanity, assumed and redeemed by Christ, has been raised by him to full communion with God.

This very Sunday, the World Communications Day is being observed. The Church looks upon the workers of this vast sector with care and affection, and desires to establish with them a frank and open dialogue, to encourage the commitment in favor of the authentic progress of humanity.

2. This year the theme on which we are invited to reflect is: «The Media in the Family: A Risk and a Richness.» Thanks to modern technologies, many family households can access directly the vast resources of communication and information, and obtain from them an occasion for education, enrichment and spiritual growth. The means of communication, however, can occasion serious damage to the family when they present an inadequate or even distorted view of life, the family itself, religion and morality.

It is necessary, therefore, to learn to use them with wisdom and prudence. It is a duty that, above all, concerns parents, responsible for the healthy and balanced education of the children. It is a task that is also the competence of public institutions, called to initiate procedures and regulations capable of ensuring that the means of social communication are always respectful of truth and of the common good.

3. In these days, which precede Pentecost, we invoke Mary for the gift of the Holy Spirit, so that he will help all those who work in the sector of social communication to carry out their work with genuine apostolic drive.

[Translation by ZENIT]

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