ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II
Friday, 21 March 1985
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It gives me great pleasure to greet the Council of the International Catholic Union of the Press and other Catholic journalists with this traditional Christian salutation, because this salutation expresses an essential part of your vocation.
May Jesus Christ be praised!
May what we do, may what we say and may what we write lead to praise of him who redeemed us, who brought the “Good News” of salvation to the whole world.
May Jesus Christ be praised!
May he be praised particularly in the pages of those publications which are known as Christian, because they reflect faith in Jesus, and as Catholic, because they reflect the universality of his love and of his dominion.
May he be praised also in the writings of all Catholic journalists - not because the name of Jesus will be mentioned in every article they write, but because the truth of Christ and the love of Christ will permeate their writings which will be distinguished by accuracy, by fairness and by that hunger and thirst for justice characteristic of those whom Jesus himself called “blessed”.
The Catholic press already does so much to give Christian information, formation and inspiration to millions of readers around the world, but we must ask ourselves: how can Jesus Christ be even more effectively praised?
Is he not praised in the life of his Church which brings not only the light of Christ’s truth but the warmth of Christ’s love to the poor, to the sick, to the persecuted, to the young who look for guidance and to the old who look for solace and hope?
Is he not praised in the lives of his followers who seek to see and to serve in every person Jesus, our Saviour and Lord?
There is thus much good news to be proclaimed: the good news of what the Church is doing in the name of Jesus; the good news of what individual Christians are doing for the love of Jesus.
It is written of Saint Ignatius of Loyola that his life was changed through the reading of the life of Christ and the lives of the saints. The good news of what the saints had done through the power of Jesus led him to ask himself why he could not do the same in the name of Jesus - ad maiorem Dei gloriam - for the greater glory of God.
Lives can be changed by the written word; individuals can be converted to Christ or to ever greater union with him through knowing how he is imitated in the lives of others.
Contemporary journalism often seeks out the hilden sinners in society, so that their crimes may be revealed and so that society may be healed. This service can indeed be salutary. But I would also hope that contemporary Catholic journalism, in particular, might seek out the hidden saints - those humble men and women who teach the young, who care for the sick, who counsel the troubled - those hidden servants of God who truly live the Gospel. In their lives they praise Jesus Christ; a greater knowledge of their hidden, humble and heroic work could well lead others to praise Jesus Christ. In a world so often divided by conflict and by hatred and so often marred by sin and selfishness, self-sacrifice and service of others in the name of Jesus are truly newsworthy; thy are facets of the good news of Christ which it is our privilege not only to proclaim but also to seek out and to make known so that others may be encouraged, inspired and even converted to faith or to fervour.
This is one small way in which we can give praise to Jesus Christ in the work of Catholic journalism, and we can take solace in the fact that the words we write remain. Scripta manent. When images pass from sight and when spoken words pass from memory, the good news about Christ’s Church and about Christians which we have the privilege to record can lead to meditation, to reflection and to enduring praise of Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God. In our words and in our work, praised be Jesus Christ, for ever and ever!
© Copyright 1985 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana