Vatican City, 18 October 2013 (VIS) – “Your work is a service to the Gospel and to the Church”, writes the Holy Father to Msgr. Dario Edoardo Vigano, director of the Vatican Television Centre (Centro Televisivo Vaticano, CTV) on the occasion of the congress held to commemorate thirty years since its foundation, an anniversary that coincides with another important date – fifty years since the approval of the Conciliar decree “Inter Mirifica”, which “numbers among the marvellous gifts of God the tools of social communication including, indeed, television”.
“During these decades technology has advanced at great speed, creating unexpected and interconnected networks”, continued Pope Francis. “It is necessary to maintain the evangelical perspective in this type of 'global communication highway'”, he added; “in presenting events, your approach must be not worldly, but ecclesial”.
In this regard, the Pontiff recalled how, shortly after being elected as bishop of Rome, in his meeting with the journalists who had covered the Conclave, he stated that the role of the media “has continually grown in recent times, to the extent that they have become indispensable for transmitting to the world the events of contemporary history”. He continued, “All this is also reflected in the life of the Church. But if it is not easy to narrate the events of history, it is even more complex to report the events linked to the Church. … This requires a special responsibility, a great capacity for interpreting reality in a spiritual light. Effectively, the events in the life of the Church have a special character: they are governed by a logic that is not primarily that of, so to say, 'worldly' categories, and precisely for this reason it is not easy to interpret and communicate them to a broad and varied public”.
Finally, the Pope reiterates that the Vatican Television Centre does not fulfil “a merely documentary, 'neutral' function in relation to events, but rather contributes to bringing the Church closer to the world, bridging distances, taking the word of God to millions of Catholics, even to places where often professing one's faith is a courageous choice. Thanks to the images [it transmits], CTV walks alongside the Pope in bringing Christ to the many forms of solitude of contemporary man, even reaching sophisticated technological peripheries. In this, your mission, it is important to remember that the Church is present in the world of communication, in all its variegated expressions, first and foremost to lead people to the encounter with Jesus Christ”.
Francis concluded by asking the Virgin to guide the steps of the “pilgrims of communication”, and invoked the intercession of St. Clare of Assisi, patron of television.