JOHN PAUL II
World Day of Social Communications
1. Today, in Italy and in other countries, is the liturgical Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, which shows how the humanity that Christ assumed and redeemed was raised by him to full communion with God.
On this same Sunday we are celebrating the World Day of Social Communications. The Church closely and fondly regards those who work in this vast sector and is eager to develop a frank and open dialogue with them, in order to foster their commitment to humanity's authentic progress.
2. This year the theme on which we are invited to reflect is: The Media and the Family: a Risk and a Richness. Thanks to the modern technologies, many nuclear families are able to have direct access to the vast resources of communications and information and make use of them for education, cultural enrichment and spiritual growth. Yet the media also have the capacity to seriously damage families when they present an inadequate or even distorted outlook on life, on the family, on religion and on morality.
It is therefore vital to learn how to use them wisely and prudently. This duty primarily concerns parents, who are responsible for giving their children a healthy and balanced education. It likewise involves the public Authorities, who are required to implement suitable regulations which ensure that the media always show respect for the truth and for the common good.
3. In these days prior to Pentecost, let us invoke with Mary the gift of the Holy Spirit, so that he may help all who work in the sector of social communications to carry out their work with authentic apostolic zeal.
To special groups
I greet all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors here today, including those from the San Gabriel Parish in the Archdiocese of San Antonio, Texas. May your time in Rome be filled with joy and deepen your love of the universal Church. God bless you all!
I would like to convey an affectionate thought to Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, my Special Envoy to the celebrations for the 750th anniversary of the consecration of the Basilica of St Francis in Assisi. With him, I greet in particular the Bishop of that town, the Franciscan Religious Families, the Authorities and all the faithful who have gathered on this solemn occasion. I join in their common prayer to invoke the intercession of the Holy Patron of Italy upon the entire Nation.
A happy Sunday to everyone!
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