Pope Francis has chosen the theme: “Fear not, for I am with you” (Is 43:5). Communicating hope and trust in our time” for the Church’s 51st World Day of Social Communications next year.
The day is celebrated each year on the Sunday before Pentecost.
World Communications Day was established by Paul VI after the Second Vatican Council in order to draw attention to the “the vast and complex phenomenon of the modem means of social communication.”
The Vatican published the 2017 theme yesterday and the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communications issued the following statement about the Pope’s chosen theme:
Numbness of conscience or letting desperation get the better of us are two possible “diseases” that our current communication system can cause.
It is possible that our conscience is cauterised, as Pope Francis comments in Laudato si’, as a result of the fact that often professionals, opinion leaders and means of communication work in urban areas distant from places of poverty and need, and their physical distance often leads them to ignore the complexity of the dramas faced by men and women.
Desperation is possible, instead, when communication is emphasised and transformed into spectacle, at times becoming a genuine strategy for constructing present dangers and looming fears.
But in the midst of this tumult a whisper is heard: “Fear not, for I am with you”. In His Son, God expresses his solidarity with every human situation and revealed that we are not alone, because we have a Father Who does not forget His children. Those who live united with Christ discover that even darkness and death become, for those who so wish, a place for communion with Light and Life. In every event, they try to discover what is happening between God and humanity, to recognise how He too, through the dramatic scenario of this world, is writing the history of salvation. We Christians have “good news” to tell, because we contemplate trustfully the prospect of the Kingdom. The Theme of the next World Day of Social Communications is an invitation to tell the history of the world and the histories of men and women in accordance with the logic of the “good news” that reminds us that God never ceases to be a Father in any situation or with regard to any man. Let us learn to communicate trust and hope for history.