The new theme for the Catholic Church’s World Social Communications Day is “Silence and Word: Path of Evangelization,” a Vatican pontifical council has announced.
Silence is not simply “an antidote to the constant and unstoppable flow of information” characteristic of modern society. Rather, it is necessary for the integration of that information, the Pontifical Council for Social Communications said on Sept. 29.
The event’s focus on silence is needed in light of the “extraordinarily varied nature” of modern communications.
“Silence, precisely because it favors habits of discernment and reflection, can in fact be seen primarily as a means of welcoming the word,” the council said.
Silence and communication are complementary and can be key factors in “the new evangelization.”
World Communications Day is celebrated in most countries on the Sunday before Pentecost. In 2012, it will fall on May 20. The papal message for the event is traditionally published on Jan. 24, the Memorial of St. Francis de Sales, patron of writers.
This year’s theme was “Truth, Proclamation and Authenticity of Life in the Digital Age.” Pope Benedict XVI’s 2011 message called for a Christian presence on social networking sites.
He said that new technologies are “giving birth to a new way learning and thinking, with unprecedented opportunities for establishing relationships and building fellowship.” While he warned about the dangers of creating a “parallel existence” and falsifying one’s online persona, he said the wise use of technologies can help satisfy “the desire for meaning, truth and unity.”