Be Not Afraid of Media, Urges Editor

Advice From a French Journalist at Vatican Symposium

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 28, 2005 ( The Church has nothing to hide, says a French editor at a recent Vatican symposium on the media.

«Although the sacred must be preserved, in all else the Church has nothing to hide,» explained Franz-Oliver Giesbert, editor of the French weekly Le Point.

«It must be very present in the media, but without ingenuousness or lack of professionalism, always choosing its field of intervention well,» he advised.

Giesbert was responding to the question «What Do the Media Expect from the Church?» in the symposium on «The Church and the Media: An Unlimited Future,» organized by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. The event in Rome ended Friday.

Giesbert, born in the U.S. state of Delaware, arrived in France when he was 3. After an intense literary and journalistic life, he became editor of Le Point.

«Despite the Pope’s appeals for evangelization, I seems to me that the clergy too often lives shut in on itself,» he said.

«I feel like saying: ‘Don’t be afraid; don’t be afraid of the media which deform everything; don’t be afraid to cry out your truths to the world,'» he exhorted.

Giesbert admitted his personal lack of interest in television, but he reminded his audience that «the whole world watches it,» so he encouraged the Church to «make noise,» in the best sense of the word, namely, to make itself heard.

The Church «must accept being an objective of the press. I would dare to say that it is often a good sign,» he added.

Later, Giesbert told ZENIT: «To communicate, it is necessary to choose the moment well and to explain oneself well.»

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