.- In an address to the annual conference of the Religion Newswriters' Association, Archbishop JosÃ© Gomez of the Archdiocese of San Antonio exhorted journalists to pursue truth, clarity, and understanding among peoples. Citing the manifestations of religion ranging from terrorism to domestic policy activism, he declared "You have a great responsibility at this moment in history. Religion intersects with all the great issues of our day."
The archbishop also criticized increasing religious indifference in American society: "Our culture today tells us that God is irrelevant and that religious faith and values are things we have to keep to ourselves. More and more, in order to live in our society, to participate in our economic and political life, people are being required to conduct themselves as if God doesnât exist."
Archbishop Gomez emphasized the importance of religion to moral values and the foundation of traditional morality. He further emphasized newswriters' professional duty to resist both secularism and materialism by presenting the vital role of religion in both private and public life: "...this division of faith and life isnât natural. And it leads to lots of other problems in our society."
As an example of noteworthy religious influence the archbishop referenced the history of Catholicism in Texas, where the first Mass was celebrated in 1691. "Christianity was here long before America was even an idea," he said. "We canât tell Americaâs story without religion. You need religion to understand America."
Archbishop Gomez closed his speech by affirming the journalistic vocation: "Whether youâre aware of it or not, each one of you has a special calling from God. A special role to play in his plan. Which is to help his kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven."