Speaking at a breakfast for the Press Club of the Pontifical University of Chile, Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa of Santiago, Chile, commented on both the positive and negative aspects of the media in today’s culture.
In his address the Cardinal emphasized that communication is a field “near and dear to the Church,” and he commented on the different dimensions of social communications, saying the media has passed from being a simple means of connecting people and events to forming a culture unto itself.
“People are no longer living in a three-dimensional universe. The media now constitutes a new universe,” the Cardinal explained.
Thus, said Cardinal Errazuriz, “the communications media not only informs and communicates, nor just entertains and teaches. The media presents, comments on, selects and even silences reality. In many circumstances they create it, implanting opinions on morality and values, even altering it.” “Not only are they social communications media, they are also social transformation media,” he said.
One of the principal problems, added the Cardinal, is “the tremendous amount of information taken out of context,” “which makes understanding the background that explains it, as well as the very meaning of decisions and events, difficult to grasp.”
In this sense, the Cardinal said the task of the social communicator is a “passionate mission” which demands the application of ethical principals. “The work of communications must be stamped by the fundamental law that God has inscribed in our conscience: We must do good and avoid evil.”