More than 400 Church communications professionals gather in Rome April 17-19, 2018, to initiate a discussion about the true nature of freedom of expression in the public sphere in today’s hyper-connected society.
“Dialogue, respect and freedom of expression in the public sphere” was the theme of the 11th Professional Seminar for Church Communications Offices held at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.
At the present time, when so-called “fake news” and “post-truth” appear to dominate the public debate, restrictions on freedom of expression have begun to be proposed. In some countries, the Christian message itself has also been subject to severe limitations, ranging from subtle censorship, through manipulated debates, to open persecution, according to conference leaders. Ecclesiastical communications offices have the task of contributing to the free and reliable flow of information, which is an indispensable service to society.
To grow in understanding and respect in the field of public communication, as requested by Pope Francis, means, first of all, realize that this work “involves people with full name” and not “the masses,” said the Prelate of Opus Dei and Chancellor of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Msgr. Fernando Ocariz, in closing remarks for the event.
Among the issues addressed, including those of the recent post-truths and fake news. In this regard, Mgr. Ocariz recalled as the proliferation of false news, to have an understanding and respect it means to “renew the profession of information from within”, deepening the “serving size” because “a well-informed person is a free person, and responsible “and thus” able to act in society in solidarity. ”
Regarding the dialogue, the Prelate is necessary to nourish the desire to “understand others, to understand their points of view,” to find out “concrete aspects that had not been taken into account” and so improve their proposals and make them more understandable, he noted. And there is the need – especially in a business world characterized by speed and immediacy – to carry out its task with “serenity”, the same one that “allows us to give depth to our work, to discover the dimension of eternity and rest in God.