Pope Benedict XVI has pledged to continue “the fruitful dialogue” with the media that was begun by his predecessor John Paul II.
"Without a doubt, Pope John Paul II was a grand artisan of open and sincere dialogue," said Pope Benedict at an 11 a.m. meeting with the press yesterday. He even referred to one of John Paul II’s last Apostolic Letters, dated Jan. 24, dedicated to the use of media in the current era.
The 78-year-old pontiff thanked journalists for their work and for their reporting of events at the Vatican in the last three weeks.
“Thanks to all of you, these historically important ecclesial events have had worldwide coverage,” he said. “I am aware of the skill and dedication with which you have accomplished your demanding task. In my own name, and especially on behalf of Catholics living far from Rome, who were able to participate in these stirring moments for our faith as they were taking place, I thank you for all you have done.”
He told journalists that the Second Vatican Council, which ended 40 years ago this year, spoke of the great potential of the media. He noted that the Council Fathers devoted their first document, titled Inter mirifica, to the media, recognizing its ability to reach and influence mass audiences.
The Church is conscious of the importance of the media, and it has sought to collaborate with the media since Vatican II, he said.
He also urged those who work in the media to remember their "ethical responsibility" and the "sincere search for truth and the defence of the centrality and the dignity of the human person."
“Since communications media can render a positive service to the common good, it requires the responsible contributions of everyone involved,” he said.
“Only in these conditions can the media respond to the design of God, who has placed these tools for our use to discover and make known the truth and the truth of our dignity,” he concluded.