Pope to Secretariat for Communications: ‘Look to the Future Without Forgetting Glorious Past’

Different Media Are Being Unified Towards Digital in Reform That Began Two Years Ago. Short Waves Are Used for Remote Places

PHOTO.VA - L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO

To look at the challenges of the future without being overcome by the temptation of attachment to a glorious past, carrying out “a great team game, without fear and without imagining apocalyptic scenarios,” said Pope Francis today, Thursday, to the participants in the Plenary Assembly of the Secretariat for Communication, the dicastery the Pontiff created two years ago to renew the Holy See’s system of communication.

The Successor of Peter reminded that the Secretariat for Communication is a new reality, which is not the coordination and fusion of previous entities but an institution ex novo, just as he defined it in his Motu proprio.

There will be a unity, integration, and management, of all the realities that have been concerned with communication, to respond ever better to the needs of the mission of the Church.

“This new communicative system is born of the need of the so-called ‘digital convergence.” In fact, in the past, each communicative means had its own channels. Every expressive form had its means, written words the newspaper and books; images, photographs and moving images the cinema and television, spoken words and music the radio and CDs.” Today, all these forms are digital.

The Holy Father said that next year the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano will be integrated, which will have to find a new and different way to reach a greater number of readers than it does at present with the paper format.

The Pontiff praised “the effort the dicastery is making in regard to countries with low technological availability,” as, for instance, the African, through the rationalization of the Short Waves, which have not been abandoned.

The Holy Father also invited to “preserve the memory” of the patrimony of experiences as impetus to the future., otherwise, “it would be reduced to a museum, interesting and beautiful to visit, but unable to offer strength and courage to continue on the way.” In this connection, he stressed the effort of personal formation and updating. He also asked that the guiding criteria be apostolic and missionary, with special attention to situations of hardship, poverty and difficulty, with the awareness of addressing them with appropriate solutions.

The Pope concluded the meeting inviting the participants to not be overcome by the temptation of attachment to a glorious past, but to engage in a great team game, without fear and without imagining apocalyptic scenarios. Before taking his leave, he imparted to them his Apostolic Blessing.

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