Pope Francis tells Journalists to "be a mouthpiece of hope" not Gossip

Sala Clementina
Friday, 18 September 2020

Dear brothers and sisters, welcome!
I am pleased to meet you, collaborators of the Christian weekly " Tertio ", which is celebrating its twentieth anniversary. I wish you a fruitful pilgrimage to Rome and congratulate you on everything you do in the field of information and communication. I thank Monsignor Smet and Mr. Van Lierde for their introductory words.
In the society we live in, information is an integral part of our daily life. When it is of quality, it allows us to better understand the problems and challenges that the world is called to face, and inspires individual, family and social behaviors. In particular, the presence of Christian media specialized in quality information on the life of the Church in the world, capable of contributing to the formation of consciences , is very important .
Moreover, the very name of your weekly, " Tertio" , refers to the Apostolic Letter of St. John Paul II Tertio millennio adveniente , in view of the great Jubilee of the year 2000, to prepare hearts to welcome Christ and his liberating message . This reference, therefore, is not only a call to hope, but also aims to make the voice of the Church and that of Christian intellectuals heard in an increasingly secularized media scenario, in order to enrich it with constructive reflections. Seeking a positive vision of people and facts, rejecting prejudices, it is a question of fostering a culture of encounter through which it is possible to know reality with a confident gaze.
The contribution of the Christian media is also noteworthy in fostering a new lifestyle in Christian communities, free from all forms of preconception and exclusion. In fact - we know - “gossip closes the heart of the community, closes the unity of the Church. The great talker is the devil, who is always saying bad things about others, because he is the liar who tries to disunite the Church, to alienate his brothers and to not create community "( Angelus , 6 September 2020 ).
Communication is an important mission for the Church. Christians engaged in this area are called to put into practice in a very concrete way the Lord's invitation to go into the world and proclaim the Gospel (cf. Mk 16:15). Due to his high professional conscience, the Christian journalist is required to offer a new testimony in the world of communication without hiding the truth or manipulating information. In fact, “in the confusion of voices and messages that surround us, we need a human narrative, which speaks to us about us and the beauty that inhabits us. A narrative that knows how to look at the world and events with tenderness; that tells about our being part of a living fabric; that reveals the intertwining of the threads with which we are connected to each other "(Message for the 54th Day of Social Communications , January 24, 2020). You are the protagonists of this "narrative".
The Christian information professional must therefore be a mouthpiece of hope, a spokesperson of trust in the future. Because only when the future is accepted as a positive and possible reality, does the present also become livable. These reflections can also help us, especially today, to nurture hope in the pandemic situation the world is going through. You are sowers of this hope for a better tomorrow. In the context of this crisis, it is important that the means of social communication help ensure that people do not fall ill from loneliness and can receive a word of comfort.
Dear friends, I renew my encouragement for your commitment and I thank God for your testimony during these twenty years, which have allowed your Weekly to gain a good reputation. As St. John Paul II underlined, "the Church looks to you, who work in the field of culture and communication, with trust and expectation, because [...] you are called to read and interpret the present time and to identify the ways for a communication of the Gospel according to the languages ​​and sensitivity of contemporary man "( Speech to the participants in the Conference for the operators of communication and culture promoted by the CEI , 9 November 2002).
I entrust your work at the service of the encounter between people and society to the protection of the Holy Virgin. May she turn her gaze to each and every one of you and help you to be faithful disciples of her Son in your profession. I bless all the collaborators of " Tertio" , family members, as well as the readers of the newspaper. And I ask you, please, not to forget to pray for me. Thank you.
Full Text Source- Vatican. Va