Pontiff Proposes Silence for Communicators

World Communications Day Message Announced

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VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 29, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is asking those professionally dedicated to spreading a message, to stop and hear a message: to be silent and welcome the Word of God.

The Vatican announced today the theme for the next World Day of Communications: «Silence and Word: path of evangelization.»

World Communications Day is celebrated in most countries on the Sunday before Pentecost (in 2012, May 20).

«The extraordinarily varied nature of the contribution of modern communications to society highlights the need for a value which, on first consideration, might seem to stand in contra-distinction to it,» the Vatican communiqué noted. «In the thought of Pope Benedict XVI, silence is not presented simply as an antidote to the constant and unstoppable flow of information that characterizes society today but rather as a factor that is necessary for its integration.

«Silence, precisely because it favors habits of discernment and reflection, can in fact be seen primarily as a means of welcoming the word.»

The Vatican message discouraged a «dualism» in considering the elements of silence and communication, instead highlighting their complementary nature — «two elements which when they are held in balance serve to enrich the value of communication and which make it a key factor that can serve the new evangelization.»

The message also noted that the Holy Father is associating World Communications Day with the theme of the synod of bishops to be held in October, which will focus on the new evangelization.

The Pope’s message for World Communications Day is traditionally published in conjunction with the Memorial of St. Francis de Sales, patron of writers (Jan. 24). This world day is the only worldwide celebration called for by the Second Vatican Council (Inter Mirifica, 1963).

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