Pope Francis Offers 3 Points on Communication Saying "Communication is, so to speak, the craftsmanship of bonds, within which the voice of God resounds..." FULL TEXT

Clementina room
Saturday, November 12, 2022
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning and welcome!
I thank Dr. Ruffini for his kind words, and I greet all of you who participate in the Plenary Assembly of the Dicastery for Communication, which has as its theme "Synod and communication: a path to be developed".
The Synod is not a simple exercise in communication, nor is it an attempt to rethink the Church with the logic of majorities and minorities who must find an agreement. This kind of vision is worldly, and follows the pattern of many social, cultural and political experiences. Instead, the essence of the synodal path lies in a basic truth that we must never lose sight of: it aims to listen, understand and put God's will into practice.
If, as a Church, we want to know the will of God to make the light of the Gospel still current in our time, then we must return to having the awareness that it is never given to the individual, but always to the Church in its entirety. It is only in the living fabric of our ecclesial relationships that we become capable of listening to and understanding the Lord who speaks to us. Without "walking together", we can simply become a religious institution, which however has lost the ability to let the light of the message of its Master shine, has lost the ability to bring flavor to the various events of the world.
Jesus warns us of such a drift. He repeats to us: «You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, with what can it be made salty? It serves no purpose other than to be thrown away and trampled on by men. You are the light of the world; a city located on a mountain cannot remain hidden, nor can a lamp be lit to put it under a bushel, but above the lamp to give light to all who are in the house "(Mt 5: 13-16). This is why the synodal dimension is a constitutive dimension of the Church and the reflection that has kept us busy in recent years has the aim of bringing out forcefully what the Church has always believed implicitly.
The Bible is full of stories of men and women who we sometimes mistakenly picture as lone heroes. For example, Abraham, the first to whom God addresses his word, is not a loner who sets out on a journey, but a man who takes God's voice seriously, who invites him to leave his land, and does this together with his family (Gen 12: 1-9). The story of Abraham is the story of the bonds of Abraham.
Even Moses, the liberator of Israel, could not have fulfilled his mission except with the help of his brother Aaron, his sister Maria, his father-in-law Jethro, and a host of other men and women who helped him to listen to the Word. of the Lord and to put it into practice for the good of all. He is a wounded man in his own personal history, and has no speaking skills, on the contrary, he is a stammerer. We could almost say that he is a man who has difficulty precisely in communicating, but whoever is next to him makes up for his own inability (cf. Ex 4: 10.12-16).
Mary of Nazareth could not have sung her Magnificat without the presence and friendship of her cousin Elizabeth (cf.Lk 1: 46-55), and she would not have been able to defend the child Jesus from the hatred of those who wanted to kill him if it were not there. Joseph was beside her (Mt 2: 13-15.19-23).
Jesus himself becomes in need of bonds, and when he has to face the decisive battle of the mission in Jerusalem, on the night of his arrest, he takes his friends Peter, James and John with him to the garden of Gethsemane (cf. Mt 26: 36-46 ).
The contribution of communication is precisely that of making possible this communal dimension, this relational capacity, this vocation to bonds. And therefore we understand how it is the task of communication to foster closeness, to give a voice to those who are excluded, to draw attention to what we normally discard and ignore. Communication is, so to speak, the craftsmanship of bonds, within which the voice of God resounds and makes itself heard.
Three things I would like to point out to you as possible traces for a future path of reflection in this area.
The first task of communication should be to make people less lonely. If it does not diminish the feeling of loneliness to which so many men and women feel condemned, then that communication is only entertainment, it is not a craft of bonds as we said before.
To be able to carry out such a mission, it is necessary to be clear that a person feels less alone when he realizes that the questions, the hopes, the hardships he brings inside find expression outside. Only a Church that is immersed in reality truly knows what is in the heart of contemporary man. Therefore, every true communication is made above all of concrete listening, it is made up of encounters, of faces, of stories. If we do not know how to stay in reality, we will limit ourselves only to indicating from above directions that no one will listen to. Communication should be a great help for the Church, to live concretely in reality, favoring listening and intercepting the great questions of today's men and women.
Linked to this first challenge, I would like to add another one: to give a voice to those who have no voice. Very often we see communication systems that marginalize and censor what is uncomfortable and that we do not want to see. The Church, thanks to the Holy Spirit, knows well that it is her duty to be with the least, and her natural habitat is that of the existential peripheries.
But existential peripheries are not only those who for economic reasons find themselves on the margins of society, but also those who are full of bread but empty of meaning, they are also those who live in situations of marginalization due to some choices, or family failures, or for personal events that have indelibly marked their history. Jesus was never afraid of the leper, the poor, the stranger, even if these people were marked by a moral stigma. Jesus never ignored irregular people of any kind. I wonder if as a Church we too know how to give a voice to these brothers and sisters, if we know how to listen to them, if we know how to discern the will of God together with them, and thus address to them a Word that saves.
Finally, the third challenge of communication that I would like to leave you is to educate us in the effort of communicating. Not infrequently in the Gospel there are also misunderstandings, slowness in understanding the words of Jesus, or misunderstandings that at times become real tragedies, as happens to Judas Iscariot, who confuses the mission of Christ with a political messianism.
Therefore, we must also accept this dimension of "fatigue" in the communication. Very often those who look at the Church from the outside are perplexed by the different tensions that exist in it. But whoever knows the way the Holy Spirit works knows well that he loves to create communion among diversities, and to create harmony from confusion. Communion is never uniformity, but the ability to hold together very different realities. I think we should also be able to communicate this effort without pretending to resolve or hide it. Dissent is not necessarily an attitude of rupture, but it can be one of the ingredients of communion. Communication must also make diversity of views possible, while always trying to preserve unity and truth, and fighting slander, verbal violence, personalism and fundamentalism which, with the excuse of being faithful to the truth, spread only division and discord. If it gives in to these degenerations, communication, instead of doing so much good, ends up doing a lot of harm.
Dear brothers and sisters, the work of this Dicastery is not simply technical. Your vocation, as we have seen, affects the very way of being Church. Thanks for what you do. I encourage you to move forward in a decisive and prophetic way. Serving the Church means being reliable and also courageous in daring new paths. In this sense, always be reliable and courageous. I bless you all from my heart. And please don't forget to pray for me.