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Media Education a Must for Youth, Says Vatican

Prepares for World Communications Day

VATICAN CITY, MAY 17, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Helping children make good decisions is an integral part of media education, says the president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

Archbishop John Foley made this point in a commentary released by his dicastery on Benedict XVI’s message for the 41st World Communications Day entitled “Children and the Media: a Challenge for Education.” The media day will be observed Sunday.

In the commentary the archbishop says: “The Holy Father reminds us that children need to be accompanied as much as possible as they interact with the media and where there exists the risk of sometimes confusing reality with fiction.

“Ideally, parents, teachers and parish communities should become knowledgeable of the languages and techniques used by the media in order to be better selective of what they offer, to assist children in discernment and in making better choices.”

The commentary added that “general criteria based on principles such as beauty, goodness and truth can offer good guidelines in selecting programming, content or even videogames.”

Archbishop Foley also said that “a primary goal is also to avoid instances where children can be directed toward themes or situations which impoverish or deceive them under the guise of freedom, or where a relentless desire for novelty is created which, in the long run, will never be satisfied or bring about real happiness.”

The commentary includes the Holy Father’s appeal to media industry leaders, reminding them “to safeguard the common good, to uphold the truth, to protect individual human dignity and promote respect for the needs of the family.”

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