address was part of a meeting today in the Vatican with participants in
the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Social
The president of that Council is Archbishop John P. Foley.
Holy Father began his address by praising assembly members for their
commitment "to the important apostolate of social communications, both
as a direct form of evangelization and as a contribution to the
promotion of all that is good and true for every human society."
referred back to his first Message for World Communications
Day--released in January--in which, he discussed "the media as a
network which facilitates communication, communion and cooperation."
message,the Pontiff said, recalled how "the Vatican Council II decree
'Inter Mirifica,' had already recognized the enormous power of the
media to inform the minds of individuals and to shape their thinking.”
years later”, he said, “we realize, more than ever, the pressing need
to harness that power for the benefit of all humanity."
St .Paul, Benedict said that "we are no longer strangers and aliens but
citizens with the saints and members of the household of God." He added
that "This sublime portrayal of a life of communion engages all aspects
of our lives as Christians and for you, in a particular way, points to
the challenge to encourage the social communications and entertainment
industries to be protagonists of truth and promoters of peace."
acommitment”, he told the group, “demands principled courage and
resolve, on the part of those who own and work within the hugely
influential media industry, to ensure that promotion of the common good
is never sacrificed to a self-serving quest for profit or an
ideological agenda with little public accountability."
Promote what is good, denounce what is false
Benedictalso referred to another theme of his message, which he said,
was "the urgent need to uphold and support marriage and family life,
the foundation of every culture and society."
this light he urged assembly members to recognize the importance of
presenting children with "edifying models of human life and love," that
do not" ridicule the God-given dignity of the human person and
undermine family interests."
he concluded his address, Benedict calling on media leaders "to promote
what is good and true, especially in regard to the meaning of human and
social existence, and to denounce what is false, especially pernicious
trends which erode the fabric of a civil society."
In an address to Catholic thinkers entrenched in the
world of social communications, Pope Benedict XVI stressed the need to
harness the power of media for the good of society, urging them to
denounce that which is morally destructive and merely profit-driven.