Pope Thanks Media for "Appreciated Service"

Says They Have a Key Role in Evangelization

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 13, 2005 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II thanked the media for their service as they closely followed his state of health during his two recent hospitalizations.

In today’s Angelus address, the Pope also emphasized the importance of the media for evangelization, in the «age of global communication.»

Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, substitute of the Vatican Secretariat of State, read the message on the Holy Father’s behalf, to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square, before the recitation of the Angelus.

During «these days of hospitalization here at the Gemelli,» he said, «I notice in a particular way, the presence and attention of so many agents of the mass media.»

«Today I wish to address a word of gratitude to them, because I know that they carry out — not without sacrifice — their appreciated service, thanks to which the faithful, in all parts of the world, can feel me closer and support me with affection and prayer,» wrote John Paul II.

«The role of the mass media is very important in our age of global communication. Great, also, is the responsibility of all those who work in this field, called to provide always accurate information, respectful of the dignity of the human person and attentive to the common good,» he continued.

During Holy Week, a time set aside «to nourish ourselves more abundantly with the Word of God,» the Pope said that «it is also possible to nourish one’s spirit through radio, television and the Internet.»

John Paul II thanked all those who are «dedicated to these new forms of evangelization.»

The Holy Father’s recent apostolic letter addressed to those working in the area of social communication, «The Rapid Development,» encourages the Church to promote a positive attitude toward the media.

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