Message to Catholic Media on Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

«Be Expert Communicators of That Word Which We Have Received in Our Hearts»

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 12, 2008 ( Here is the message Archbishop Claudio Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, sent to Catholic media professionals today, on the occasion of the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

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On joyfully celebrating the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of America to whom the Digital Network of the Church in Latin America (RIIAL) continually renews its consecration, I wish to send a fraternal and sincere greeting to all the men and women who serve the Church with the charism of communication, and to share some reflections with you now that the bishops have launched the continental mission which will radically orientate the present and future pastoral activity of our communities.

The Church lived a very important moment this year during the synod on the «Word in the Life and Mission of the Church.» This synod has reminded us vividly that God has revealed himself to us fully as Love in Christ, and that every evangelizing mission is communication, as is the Church herself. Hence, it is up to all — as disciples and missionaries — to be expert communicators of that Word which we have received in our hearts. However, it turns out that, in the ambit of communications, we find ourselves, precisely, in a process of acceleration never before seen. The mass media no longer acts in isolation; it is intertwined and boosts, in the virtual world created by the Internet, even the small screens that receive and send contents from every home and even from the palm of the hand. Including in social sectors with considerable needs, the use is multiplied of the mobile telephone as a new window to social dialogue.

The changes in this field challenge us. It is urgent to include those who do not participate in this dialogue, and also to act as bridges between generations: those that were born and grew up in the world of the word and text, and the so-called «digital natives,» who no longer understand previous models and must also be reached by the Word of the Lord. Because of this, particularly timely is the topic that Pope Benedict XVI has chosen for the World Day of Social Communications 2009: «New Technologies, New Relations: To Promote a Culture of Respect, of Dialogue and of Friendship.»

The Church does not succumb to the fascination of technology itself, no matter how attractive it is, but neither does she fear that fruit of human creativity, so worthy of appreciation. As followers of the Lord we focus our attention on persons, families, communities and on all that can favor them on the path of peace, justice, love and the encounter with God. Thus, following the example of St. Paul of Tarsus, the great communicator who used the media of his time, we assume in each case the appropriate technology without being enslaved, with liberty and courage, acting as agents of meaning and servants of our brothers in this new culture.

No matter what the means in which we work, let us take advantage of the opportunities that technology itself gives us to do so on the net, establishing bonds of collaboration with other ecclesial initiatives that, with their particular charisms, are at the service of the same high objective: to put the Lord Jesus Christ at the heart of the society of information. Integration among us does not mean uniformity, but the beautiful and multiple harmonization of our efforts.

During this time of Advent and in the Birth of Our Lord, may Our Lady of Guadalupe, lofty communicator, continue to protect our personal and professional life.

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