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Wednesday, September 29, 2004


VATICAN CITY, SEP 29, 2004 (VIS) - It was announced today by Archbishop John Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, that the theme chosen by Pope John Paul II for the 2005 World Communications Day is: "The Communications Media: At the Service of Understanding between Peoples."

  The announcement of the theme is traditionally made on September 29, the Feast of the Archangels Michael, Raphael and Gabriel, the latter having been designated as the patron of those who work in radio.

  Archbishop Foley said in a communique that this theme "reflects the Pope's desire that the media contribute to an authentic dialogue and mutual comprehension among peoples, leading to understanding, to justice and to an enduring peace." Among the responsibilities of this council is the preparation of study materials on the theme for distribution to bishops' conferences.

  "World Communications Day," underscored Archbishop Foley, "is the only worldwide celebration called for by the Second Vatican Council" as outlined in the document "Inter Mirifica" of 1963. "It is celebrated in most countries, on the recommendation of the bishops of the world, on the Sunday before Pentecost" which next year is May 8.

  He notes that "the Holy Father's message for World Communications Day is published every year on January 24, the memorial of St. Francis de Sales, patron of writers, to allow bishops' conferences and diocesan offices sufficient lime to prepare audiovisual and other materials for national and local celebrations."

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