Vatican City, Jun 13, 2004 / 22:00 pm
The media must not be used to communicate narrow interests but rather serve truth and peace, said Archbishop John P. Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, in Rome this morning to a gathering of representatives of the religious communities involved in the Peace Communications Network at the Christian Brothers Generalate.
"Last year," he said, "on the fortieth anniversary of the famous encyclical of Pope John XXIII, 'Pacem in Terris', the Holy Father chose as the theme for world communications Day: The Communications Media at the Service of Authentic Peace in the Light of 'Pacem in Terris'. He recalled that Pope John XXIII had identified as the four pillars of authentic peace:
truth, justice, freedom and love. We have to guarantee that our own communications and those of the media are truthful. In that way, they can render a wonderful service; otherwise, they can sometimes be used 'in the service of narrow interests, national, ethnic, racial or religious prejudices'."
We also must guarantee, continued Archbishop Foley, "that our own communications and those of the media contribute to justice." In addition, if "the media are to serve freedom, they themselves must be free and correctly use that freedom Their privileged status obliges the media to rise above purely commercial concerns and serve society's true needs and interests."
In conclusion, the archbishop quoted Pope John Paul's words two years ago at the Shrine of Divine Mercy near Krakow: "Where hatred and the thirst for revenge dominate, where war brings suffering and death to the innocent, there the grace of mercy is needed in order to settle human minds and hearts and to bring about peace. Therefore, communication for peace should involve not the advocacy of a balance or preponderance of power but of a superabundance of love."