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Communication at the service of an authentic culture of encounter
The capacity to communicate is at the heart of what it means to be human. It is in and through our communication that we are able to meet and encounter at a meaningful level other people, express who we are, what we think and believe, how we wish to live and, perhaps more importantly, to come to know those with whom we are called to live. Such communication calls for honesty, mutual respect and a commitment to learn from each other.
It requires a capacity to know how to dialogue respectfully with the truth of others. It is often what might be perceived initially as ‘difference’ in the other that reveals the richness of our humanity. It is the discovery of the other that enables us to learn the truth of who we are ourselves.
In our modern era, a new culture is developing advanced by technology, and communication is in a sense “amplified” and “continuous”. We are called to “rediscover, through the means of social communication as well as by personal contact, the beauty that is at the heart of our existence and journey, the beauty of faith and of the beauty of the encounter with Christ.” (Address of Pope Francis to participants at the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, 21 September 2013). In this context, each one of us should accept the challenge to be authentic by witnessing to values, Christian identity, cultural experiences, expressed with a new language and shared with others.
Our ability to communicate, reflected in our participation in the creative, communicative and unifying Trinitarian Love, is a gift which allows us to grow in personal relationships, which are a blessing in our lives, and to find in dialogue a response to those divisions that create tensions within communities and between nations.
The age of globalization is making communication possible even in the most remote parts of the world, but it is also important “to use modern technologies and social networks in such a way as to reveal a presence that listens, converses and encourages.” (Address of Pope Francis to participants at the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, 21 September 2013), so that nobody is excluded.
The Message for World Communications Day 2014 will explore the potential of communication, especially in a networked and connected world, to bring people closer to each other and to co-operate in the task of building a more just world.
World Communications Day, the only worldwide celebration called for by the Second Vatican Council (“Inter Mirifica“, 1963), is celebrated in most countries, on the recommendation of the bishops of the world, on the Sunday before Pentecost (June 1st in 2014).
The Holy Father’s message for World Communications Day is traditionally published in conjunction with the Memorial of St. Francis de Sales, patron of writers (January 24).