ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO THE JOURNALISTS AT THE END OFTHE APOSTOLIC PILGRIMAGE TO AFRICA
Monday, 12 May 1980
Je tiens à exprimer un très grand merci aux journalistes, et à tous les agents des communications sociales, de la presse, de la radio, de la télévision.
D’abord à ceux qui m’ont accompagné tout au long de ce voyage, avec une patience digne de l’Afrique, sous le soleil, au prix de beaucoup de fatigues. Cela fait partie de votre métier, mais j’ai conscience de vos mérites. Je remercie aussi ceux qui sur place, en Afrique, on fait leur travail de reportage, d’enregistrement, de diffusion, d’autant plus que le programme était très chargé, pour eux comme pour moi!
Je remercie enfin les artisans des mass-médias qui, dans les autres pays, ont su rendre compte de ce voyage, et lui donner auprès de leurs lecteurs et auditeurs, le relief qui convenait.
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Dear Friends in the communications media,
When the history of the last quarter of this Millennium is written, I am convinced that the great contribution made by the media to the cause of humanity will be recorded for future generations. I, for one, shall always be indebted to you for carrying my message to the world, for helping me to reach out to millions of people - my brothers and sisters, and yours - as a herald of peace, a messenger of hope, a simple friend.
Yes, with all my heart I thank you for your respect for truth itself, for the objectivity of your reporting, for your concern for the people who, through you, listen to my voice. Through you I am able likewise to proclaim a religious message - which for me is based on the word of a God who has revealed himself - a message which I offer freely and with out constraint to anyone who may wish to listen. You are indeed vehicles of truth, for through you truth reaches people and people embrace truth.
You have heard before my insistence on the dignity of your task and on the importance of your role of service to the community - the world community which wants to be sustained by that truth which builds the unity of the human family. Although you have heard all this before, perhaps these considerations may still be useful as you reflect on the responsibility that you hold in your hands.
I thank you sincerely for the interest you show in my mission, for your enthusiasm in reporting it, and for all your collaboration. And by the same token I wish to assure you of my interest in your mission, my enthusiasm for its success, and my collaboration with you and the media people throughout the world. There is something special about you because of the truth you serve. And there is something special about truth, because, in the words of Jesus Christ, it is truth that makes us free.
I am happy that the end of this African journey means that you are going back to your families - to the unity and freedom that you experience in your homes and to the love that you and your families share together. Please tell the children that I was thinking of them and please give my greetings to all. For me our meeting is not over yet; I shall recall it in prayer, asking the blessing of Almighty God to be with you for ever.
Thank you again.
 Cfr. Io. 8, 32.
© Copyright 1980 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana