Bishops Reminded of Media's Role in Evangelization

Archbishop Foley Addresses Seminar in Rome

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ROME, SEPT. 7, 2004 ( A Vatican official told bishops that the work of evangelization requires effective use of the media.

Archbishop John Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, delivered that message today at a seminar attended by French-, Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking bishops with fewer than five years of ordination, the Vatican Information Service reported.

Specifically, the archbishop stressed that all dioceses should have a pastoral plan for communications.

He told the new bishops that «the effective use of the media is essential for evangelization and for the episcopal ministry in today’s world.»

«Listening to the Good News of Jesus Christ is the most important type of communication that human beings can receive,» Archbishop Foley said. «Therefore, our first responsibility is precisely to communicate this news in the most effective way possible.»

«How can we communicate the Good News of Jesus Christ?» he asked. «Obviously with good example, … through the preaching and teaching of the basic truths of the faith, knowledge of the Bible, and by helping people to pray.»

«We communicate the Good News of Christ through the positive work that the Church does in his name,» and through the media, he added.

Recalling the 1992 pastoral instruction «Aetatis Novae» on communication, Archbishop Foley said that this document «suggests that a pastoral plan for communication be developed in each diocese and that communication be part of pastoral plans.»

The archbishop referred to radio and television programs and Catholic publications and said they should be of high quality.

«That mark of high quality,» he added, «must come from our authenticity, our credibility as representatives of the Gospel of Christ.»

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