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Monday, February 21, 2005


VATICAN CITY, FEB 21, 2005 (VIS) - This morning in St. Peter's Basilica, Archbishop John Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, delivered the homily at the Mass to celebrate the council's annual plenary session.

  Referring to the publication today of "Rapid Development," the Pope's Apostolic Letter on communications, he says "Pope John Paul II has urged us to use the communications media well in the service of truth and in the service of the Gospel. While there is much in the media to criticize, there is also much to praise - and the media themselves are as good or as bad as what people transmit through them.  They are media; they are means - not ends in themselves."

  "We should express our preoccupation with the bad uses to which the media can be put - pornography, character assassination, sensationalism; but we should be especially eager to praise those who do good things in the media, to encourage them, to support them; and we should not fail to use the media ourselves, not only to tell the good news - the Gospel - of Jesus Christ, but also to tell the good news of what the Church is doing in the name of Jesus."

  Archbishop Foley, at the Mass yesterday for members of the Media Committee of European Bishops at the Paul VI International residence in Rome, spoke of the Pope's Apostolic Letter on communications, saying it is "to commemorate the publication at the Second Vatican Council of the Decree 'Inter Mirifica' and to offer an insight and a challenge to all of us in the Church for a profound understanding and wise use of the media."

  "I would ask," he said, "that it be one of your major preoccupations to help to promote Catholic communications activity in what we might call the Church of the Modern Catholic Renaissance in central and eastern Europe. ... It is not only in eastern and central Europe where there is a hunger for the Gospel. There, perhaps, the opportunities to use the media are now greater - but the need to hear the Gospel and to see sound Christian values incorporated in the media is perhaps even greater in an increasingly secularized western Europe. How do we get people's attention to listen to the most important message in life - our origin, our destiny and the means to achieve it?  How do we get people really to listen to what Christ has told us - without their tuning out because they think they have heard it before or because it has struck them as dull? It will be hard work for us - but God has promised us strength."
CON-CS/MEDIA:EUROPE/FOLEY                VIS 20050221 (440)

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