Pope Francis says "...it is not enough to live "online" or "connected", we need to see to what extent our communication...actually creates bridges...of the culture of encounter."

Hall of the Consistory
Saturday, June 18, 2022
Off-the-cuff words of the Holy Father
Speech delivered by the Holy Father
Off-the-cuff words of the Holy Father
Thank you for his words, thank you all for visiting, thank you!
Here is the speech I have to say ... But why waste time saying this when you read it later, right? It seemed to me better to give it to the General, who then let him know - if he thinks it appropriate; if not, let him do the censorship! And then, it seems to me that communicating in this way, fraternally, with the warmth of the encounter, is better than the coldness of a speech.
And you are apostles of communication. We can talk a lot about the theology of communication… God's passion is to communicate himself, he always communicates: with the Son in the Spirit, and then to us. Communicating is one of the things that is more than a profession: it is a vocation. And this Fr. Alberione wanted to underline in the various - so-called - Pauline families, this of communicating. Communicate cleanly. And you have the vocation to communicate in a clean, evangelical way. If we take today's media: lack of cleanliness, lack of honesty, lack of completeness. Disinformation is on the agenda: one thing is said but many others are hidden. We must ensure that in our communication of faith this does not happen, does not happen, that communication comes precisely from the vocation, from the Gospel, clear, clear, witnessed with one's own life.
Not only to communicate, but also to redeem communication from the state it is in today, in the hands of a whole world of communication that either says half, or one party slanders the other, or one party defames the other, or one party on the tray offers scandals because people like to eat scandals, that is, eat dirt. It is not true? It is so. Communication, that relationship between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit which is in the sign of the Trinity, becomes this indigestible, dirty, not clean meal. Your vocation is that communication is made clean, clear, simple. Don't overlook this, it's very important!
It is not a profession. Yes, there are professional communicators among you, this is fine; but before your profession, it is a vocation, and the vocation gives you identity. I take your identity from your vocation, that is, God calls you to this. I don't care what your name was before I called you. He calls you, you have your identity. That prayer of David, that prophetic conscience: "You were taken from the flock", from there; your identity does not come so much from the flock but from the call that he has taken from you from the flock. Do not forget the flock, that the "fumes" do not come and fill your head because you are an important one, you have reached the monsignor, the cardinal ... Nothing, no, this is useless. Cleanliness is needed, that is where I come from, reality. And God always communicates himself in reality: make sure that your life is precisely the communication of your vocation, that none of you have to hide your own vocational identity. The first thing a communicator communicates is himself, unwittingly perhaps, but it is himself. “This speaks of this theme…”, but how he speaks is important: clear, transparent; it is he himself who speaks. This is originality. In this sense, communicators are "poets". It is the "poetry" of communicating well.
Go ahead with clean communication: also in the Chapter, communicate well with each other. There are always difficulties in communicating well, and in communication there is always some danger of transforming reality. One tells, communicates this to the other, this communicates it to this, to that other and that other and around, when he comes back, he is like Little Red Riding Hood, who begins with the wolf who wants to eat Little Red Riding Hood and ends with Little Red Riding Hood and the grandmother who eat the wolf. No, that's not right! Bad communication distorts reality.
Thank you for the vocation to communicate in the Church. Go ahead on this: the Church needs this. I thank you so much. Courage and go on! Pray for each other. the unity of the Congregation will be your strength to communicate well. And pray for me too: I ask for alms, so we go forward. All right. Thank you!
Speech delivered
Dear brothers, good morning!
I welcome you and I thank the Superior General for his greeting and his introduction. You have come on the occasion of your XI General Chapter, which has this theme: "Let yourselves be transformed by renewing your way of thinking" (Rom 12: 2). Called to be artisans of communion to prophetically proclaim the joy of the Gospel in the culture of communication ”.
In the verse of the Letter to the Romans that guided your days of work, the apostle Paul invites all of us not to conform to the mentality of the world, but to allow ourselves to be transformed by changing our way of thinking. Paul does not say "transform" the world, but "transform", rather, "let yourselves be transformed", that is, make room for the only Subject capable of being able to transform you: the Holy Spirit, the Grace of God. transform the world around us.
The expression "renew the way of thinking" - as you teach me - is at the center of the proposal for a spiritual and apostolic life that your Founder, Blessed James Alberione, elaborated and codified for you, starting precisely from the experience of St. Paul. The Blessed One wrote: «From the mind everything comes. If one does a good work it is because he thought of it and then wanted it and then did it. Therefore, the first point to look at is always the mind "(Alle Pie Disccepole del Divin Maestro, VIII, Rome, 1986, 365).
It is therefore first of all the mentality that must be changed, converted, assimilated to that of Jesus Master, to help spread a way of thinking and living based on the Gospel in society. It is a great challenge for the Church and for you Paulines, characterized by the institutional charism of communication. Indeed, it is not enough to use the means of communication to spread the Christian message and the Magisterium of the Church; it is necessary to integrate the message itself into the new culture created by modern communication. A culture that is born, even before the contents, from the very fact that there are new ways of communicating with new languages, new techniques and new psychological attitudes (cf. Enc. Redemptoris missio, 37, c).
A key theme in this regard is that of interpersonal relationships in the globalized and hyper-connected world. It is a key theme both on the human and social level, and on the ecclesial level, because the whole Christian life starts and develops through the relationship from person to person. And now, after the early days of euphoria for technological innovations, we are aware that it is not enough to live "online" or "connected", we need to see to what extent our communication, enriched by the digital environment, actually creates bridges and contributes to the construction of the culture of encounter.
For your specific mission of evangelization in the world of communication, Fr Alberione wanted you to be consecrated men, called to bear witness to the Gospel with unreserved dedication to the apostolate. For this reason, look to the apostle Paul as a model of a man conquered by Christ and driven by his love on the roads of the world. From Paul you always learn anew the passion for the Gospel and the missionary spirit, which, being born from his "pastoral heart", pushed him to make himself everything to everyone. And one aspect that, speaking of Paul, risks being overlooked, but which actually appears clearly from his letters, is that he did not act alone, as an isolated hero, but always in collaboration with his fellow missionaries. From him, therefore, you also learn to work as a team with others, to work “in a network”, to be artisans of communion, using the most effective and up-to-date means of communication to reach people with the Good News where and how they live.
Try to cultivate this style of communion first of all among yourselves, in your communities and in the Congregation, practicing that synodality that throughout the Church we have set out to deepen and above all to exercise at every level. Speaking to you, I ask you to place your charism at the service of this process, that is, to help the Church to walk together by making the most of the means of communication. It is a service that has always seen you attentive, but which in this phase asks to be thought out and studied in a thematic way. In two words, the theme is: synodality and communication.
But I would not like you to feel considered only on this level, let's say "professional", of your specific competence. No, you are called to live communion ordinarily in fraternity, in relations with the diocesan communities in which you live, and of course with the great and varied Pauline Family. Your horizon must always be that of Paul, that is, the entire humanity of our time, to whom the Gospel of Christ is destined, especially those who appear to be "distant", indifferent and even hostile. Often, on closer inspection, these people hide within themselves a longing for God, a thirst for love and truth.
Dear brothers, thank you for your visit and above all for your commitment to the service of the Church and evangelization. May Mary, Queen of the Apostles, always accompany you on your journey with her maternal protection. I cordially bless all of you and your confreres. And I ask you please: don't forget to pray for me. Thank you!