MESSAGE OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO THE DIRECTOR OF THE SIR AGENCY, VINCENZO CORRADO,
ON THE OCCASION OF THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF FOUNDATION
Dear friends of the SIR Agency,
I am happy to meet you with this short message on the occasion of an important anniversary for your newspaper. Just in these days - October 25 - remember the thirty years of the publication of your first bulletin that started the journalist activity of the SIR. What we are experiencing is an important year for all of you, and for this, I wish you well and send you a special memory for the professional activity you do every day.
Thirty years certainly represent a good goal, but they are not and should not be considered a point of arrival. Continue to carry out your commitment always looking for the same novelty with which the founding fathers thought and then, given shape to a unique project of its kind: an information tool that connects the Italian territory, represented by the diocesan weeklies, in the center and that, at the same time, return from the center to the territory with the heads of the dioceses. You have been advocates of communion in information, both ecclesial and socio-cultural. Keep it up!
The SIR, the information agency of the Italian Episcopal Conference, contains the needs of different communities. With your daily newsletter, you can find news on the Holy See, on the Italian Church, on the dioceses, on Europe, on the Middle East, on the whole world ... Now, as you know, I decided to dedicate the LIII World Day of Social Communications, which celebrates in 2019, the theme "We are members of one another" (Eph 4:25) From communities to communities. I know you, in turn, committed to promoting an informative community, founded on authenticity and reciprocity.
Over the years, you have been able to follow technological developments, always keeping your editorial line so well expressed in 1988 by your late president, Mons. Giuseppe Cacciami: "We would like to be judged and tested on objectivity, rigor of language, documentation , on the attention to the causes and the implications of the religious event rather than on its instrumental, brilliant and ephemeral use for the curiosity of the moment ". It is still a valid attention: just think of the phenomenon of "false news", the so-called fake news. Continue to practice your profession while always keeping to the truth. It is the most effective antidote to combat falsehood. And remember that "to discern the truth it is necessary to examine what accompanies communion and promotes goodness and what, on the contrary, tends to isolate, divide and oppose" (cf. Message for the 1st World Day of Social Communications).
Thirty years are not few, but this is the moment to think about the future. I encourage you to continue on the path of innovation, but not neglecting your gaze to all the territories: Italians, Europeans, Middle Eastern, international ... The territory is not a simple geographical border, it is something more: it indicates the existence of people that inhabit it. In the wake of the diocesan weeklies, make voice of those who have no voice. Keep turning on your information lights on all the suburbs. Make yourself communicate with the stories you tell. Get more passionate about the truth. Be custodians of the news. The journalist, "in the contemporary world, is not just a trade, but a real mission. It has the task, in the frenzy of the news and in the whirlwind of the scoops, to remember that at the center of the news there is not the speed in giving it and the impact on the audience, but the people. To inform is to form, is to deal with the life of the people "(cf. Message for the 1st World Day of Social Communications).
Dear friends, I accompany you in your work, I wish you always be ready to listen and to sincere dialogue to let the truth emerge. I encourage you to focus more and more on the fullness of quality information that can build bridges of understanding and dialogue. Walk, as you have done so far, on the beautiful and tiring paths of thinking, not compromising with anyone. Be free and far from reductive models. Help to understand the facts in their complexity and their deep meaning.
I bless you from the heart and you, please, do not forget to pray for me.
Vatican, 21 October 2018
FULL TEXT Share from Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation from Italian