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‘Never Give In to Indifference,’ Pope Warns RAI Journalists

Francis Receives Delegation of the Regional Journalism Group of the RAI

Pope Francis met this morning with a delegation of the Regional Journalism Group of the RAI. Here is a Vatican-provided translation of Pope Francis’ address to them:

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Dear brothers and sisters,

I welcome you and greet the President of RAI, the Managing Director and the Director of the Regional Journalism Group (TGR), whom I thank for the kind words he has addressed to me on behalf of those present and of all the staff of this large working community. I would like to begin where he finished: a son of the Oratory. When I arrived in Italy, I found three things that I had not found so strongly elsewhere: the Oratory, volunteering and co-operativism. These are three aspects that honour you and your society. The Oratory is very strong in Italy. And I like that you remembered it. Thank you.

I am pleased to meet you on the occasion of the first forty years of the TGR, for the service that you propose in particular with your local editorial offices and with a great effort from journalistic and technical staff, offering a service that does not neglect minority languages and cultures.

As I have said on several occasions, there is harmful globalisation and good globalisation; globalisation is not bad in itself; on the contrary, the trend towards globalisation is good, because it unites us, it can help us to be members of each other. What can be harmful is how it is implemented. Indeed, if globalisation claims to make everyone uniform, it mortifies the richness and particularity of each people, it tends to make everything and everyone the same, rather than valuing diversities, peculiarities, cultures, histories and traditions. If, on the other hand, globalization seeks to unite everyone while respecting individuals, social groups and peoples in their riches and peculiarities, then that globalization is good, because it enables us to grow together. To exemplify this idea we can use the image of the sphere and the polyhedron: in the sphere everything is equal, every point is equidistant from the centre, everything is uniform, there are no differences; instead in the polyhedron there is coherence, there is unity, but there is also diversity, variety of positions, of culture, of identity. The globalization of the polyhedron is what unites us, respecting diversity. And this is the way.

We can represent the service offered by the Regional Journalism of the RAI in accordance with this model of the polyhedron. In fact, by its nature it is called to give voice to the variety of Italian regions, especially with regional news. This regional information comes from the territory, with a very precise mission, which is expressed in two directions. The first is to immerse oneself in the daily, local reality, made up of people, events, projects, problems and hopes. The second is to intercept the same reality, to be able to transmit to a wider horizon all those values that belong to the life and history of the people, and at the same time give voice to poverty, challenges, sometimes urgent issues in the territories, along the streets, meeting families, in places of work. But also to give voice to the places and witnesses of faith.

That is why I am convinced that local information is not to be considered “lesser” than national information. On the contrary, I would say that it is the most genuine and the most authentic in the mass-media world, since it does not respond to the need for profit or messages to be communicated, but is called to transmit only the voice of the people, in all its aspects and at different times of social, cultural and spiritual life, and has an equally important task in enhancing local realities and cultures, without which even the unity of the nation would not exist.

In this perspective I would like to thank in particular all the journalists who work in the regional newspapers, for their commitment in choosing to be in the territory, I dare say sharing the reality they want to tell, those news that often, for editorial reasons, the bigger information does cannot transmit to us.

The RAI, throughout its long history, has always offered an important contribution to helping the Italian people feel as such, with their language and culture. And in these times, more than ever, the need is felt for news communicated with completeness, with a calm language, so as to favour reflection; clear and well-weighted words, that reject aggressive and disdainful tones. Words, as you said, in truth, goodness and beauty.

Therefore, I encourage you to continue to recount and to make known those genuine situations that are still found in many corners of Italy: situations that do not give in to indifference, that are not silent in the face of injustice, that do not follow fashions. There is an underground sea that deserves to be known. May the Lord support you in this work. I too bless you and I ask you, please, to pray for me, as this work is not easy. Thank you.

[Vatican-provided translation]

About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is a Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in four languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight, and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, and EWTN. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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