VATICAN CITY, MAY 2, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI says journalists can offer an important service to society: helping people each day to know not only what is happening but why it is happening.
The Pope on Saturday offered words of encouragement for members of the media when he addressed the 17th Assembly of the European Broadcasting Union, gathered at Castel Gandolfo as guests of Vatican Radio, which is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year.
In a French and English address, the Holy Father noted the “patient search” for “daily truth,” an endeavor supported by the Church in its “adherence to the truth that is Christ.”
The Pontiff reflected on the “public service” of the European Broadcasting Union, which is a public broadcasting association. He spoke of its mission to help people “each day to know and understand better what is happening and why it is happening, and to communicate actively so as to accompany them in society’s journey together.”
He recalled the mission to promote and encourage dialogue between faith and reason, noting what he said during his trip last year to the United Kingdom: “Religion does not seek to manipulate non-believers, but to assist reason in the discovery of objective moral principles. Religion contributes by ‘purifying’ reason, helping it not to fall prey to distortions, such as manipulation by ideology or partial application that fails to take full account of the dignity of the human person. At the same time, religion likewise recognizes its need for the corrective of reason in order to avoid excesses, such as fundamentalism or sectarianism.”
Allies and friends
The Holy Father acknowledged the difficulties facing public broadcasting — everything from competition by commercial agencies to the impact of developments in new technologies.
“But the challenges of the modern world on which you have to report are too great and too urgent to let yourselves become discouraged or tempted to give up in the face of such difficulties,” he said.
Finally, the Pope thanked the participants for their service to him and the Church on occasions such as Easter and Christmas, or during apostolic trips.
“For me too, and for the Catholic Church,” he said, “you are therefore important allies and friends in our mission.”
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