"Boredom" Greatest Sin in Media, Says Archbishop

Comments of President of Communication Council

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 11, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The greatest sin regarding the use of media is «boredom,» said the president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

Archbishop John Patrick Foley presided over a Eucharistic celebration Tuesday at the Pontifical Gregorian University, on the occasion of the World Day of Social Communications.

The American prelate said in his homily, delivered in Italian, that «we are responsible if we do not preach the Good News, but we can never force a person to accept it.»

The president of the Vatican dicastery for communications reminded students studying mass communication that «you have the delicate task to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ, and to announce it to the largest possible public, but never in a threatening or coercive manner.»

The archbishop, a former journalist and professor of metaphysics, recalling his Jesuit education, said that «when I was young, I tried to contribute to reciprocal and profound understanding, and to love among peoples.»

«Coming from Philadelphia, where thanks to the Quakers there has been religious freedom for 350 years, I have tried to promote ecumenical and interreligious understanding with articles on the historic synagogues and churches of all denominations: Protestant, Orthodox, Episcopal and Anglican,» he said.

Archbishop Foley emphasized that such promotion must have clear Catholic identity: «We must never forget, in the radio, television and newspapers, that we represent the Catholic Church, the only true Church founded by Jesus Christ.»

«The great sin of the world of communication is boredom,» said the archbishop.

After the concelebrated Mass, attended by the students of the Interdisciplinary Center for Social Communication, Archbishop Foley participated in an open forum with the students.

Asked why John Paul II’s agony and death awakened so much interest, the archbishop said that the answer must be found in «his authenticity.»

Commenting on the sexual scandals that have shaken some dioceses in the United States, he said that «the only answer is the virtue of honesty.» To «hide and deny that there was a problem is already a problem in itself,» stated Archbishop Foley.

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