Catholic Journalists Stress Mission to Bring Truth

Called to Be Witnesses of the Word

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By Jesús Colina

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 7, 2010 ( Some of the 230 Catholic communications professionals from 85 countries who were received Thursday by Benedict XVI commented to ZENIT on their mission to bring truth to the world.

The Pope received in audience participants from the four-day World Press Congress organized by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, which ended Thursday.

Among those present in the audience was Saverio Gaeta, journalist of «Famiglia Cristiana,» the largest weekly publication in Italy. Gaeta said he was very impressed by the appeal the Pontiff «made to all of us, Catholic journalists, to seek the truth with passionate minds and hearts but also with professionalism.»

«His appeal points essentially to the responsibility that is derived from being Catholics in an explicit way through the commitment to follow the masterful way of truth,» added the journalist and author.
«In fact,» he said, «the word truth came many times from the Pope’s lips, as for him the Truth means, obviously, Jesus Christ.»
«In this sense,» Gaeta continued, «he asked that the virtual world not be confused with the real world, that the fictitious idea of an abstract good not be confused with what is the concrete good, which for us is Jesus Christ, that we want to proclaim with our work as Catholic journalists.»

Miguel Ángel Velasco, director of the weekly «Alfa and Omega,» published by the Archdiocese of Madrid and distributed by ABC newspaper, acknowledged that his attention was caught especially by «the personal appeal he made to us to opt for Christ; from that all the rest will derive.»
Specifically, this journalist and writer stressed two original ideas, typical of Joseph Ratzinger, which he touched upon in his meeting with the Catholic press.
«On one hand, he explained that ‘to live as if God didn’t exist’ becomes an inhuman humanism,» Velasco said.

He continued: «And, in the second place, he explained that our mission as Catholic journalists consists in helping to keep burning the lamp of hope. In a moment as difficult as that of present-day society, an appeal to hope by the Pope is very good.»


Among the participants in the meeting with the Holy Father was the president of the Ramon Pane Foundation, Ricardo Grzona, who has dedicated himself to communicating the Word of God with new technologies and is the creator of the «Lectionautas» project.

Grzona spoke to ZENIT about the words that Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, addressed to the Pope, in which he presented the context of the work of Catholic communicators — the «dictatorship of relativism.»

The expression had been used by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in the homily he addressed to the College of Cardinals at the beginning of the Conclave from which he would emerge elected Pope.

Grzona noted that the Holy Father used «very forceful phrases. In the first place, he said, anyone who works in journalism must be willing to be a messenger of the truth and one must be careful, as the truth cannot be confused with lies or the absence of truth.»
«Today it is very common to confuse the real and the virtual,» Grzona continued. «That is why the Pope concluded his address calling us to be witnesses of the Word with a capital «W,» who became flesh in Mary’s womb, Jesus of Nazareth, the only Word that the Father has pronounced to save us wholly.»

Grzona concluded: «Jesus said ‘I am the Truth.’ We must be witnesses of the Truth and not of the appearance of truth.»

The audience also allowed for more personal meetings between the communications professionals and Benedict XVI.

Among those who greeted the Pope personally was one of the speakers at the world congress, Daniel Arasa, professor at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.

He recalled: «I greeted the Holy Father. I told him that we pray much for him. Knowing that I was from Barcelona, he told me that he would soon travel to Spain. I told him that we are praying for that trip and that we await him in the University of the Holy Cross. And at that moment, he smiled at me.»

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On ZENIT’s Web page:

Papal address to Catholic press:

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