The media must put the common good before profit - Pope Benedict told participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, on Friday The Pope began his English-language address by praising those present for their commitment "to the important apostolate of social communications, both as a direct form of evangelization and as a contribution to the promotion of all that is good and true for every human society." He then went on to refer to his own first Message for World Communications Day, which considers "the media as a network which facilitates communication, communion and cooperation." That Message, the Pope continued, also recalls how "the Vatican Council II decree 'Inter Mirifica,' had already recognized the enormous power of the media to inform the minds of individuals and to shape their thinking. Forty years later we realize, more than ever, the pressing need to harness that power for the benefit of all humanity." The Holy Father referred to words of St Paul to the effect that "we are no longer strangers and aliens but citizens with the saints and members of the household of God," adding: "This sublime portrayal of a life of communion engages all aspects of our lives as Christians and for you, in a particular way, points to the challenge to encourage the social communications and entertainment industries to be protagonists of truth and promoters of peace." "Such a commitment demands principled courage and resolve, on the part of those who own and work within the hugely influential media industry, to ensure that promotion of the common good is never sacrificed to a self-serving quest for profit or an ideological agenda with little public accountability." Another theme of his Message, the Pope continued, was "the urgent need to uphold and support marriage and family life, the foundation of every culture and society." In this context he stressed the importance of presenting children with "edifying models of human life and love," that do not "ridicule the God-given dignity of the human person and undermine family interests." The Pope concluded his address by calling on leaders in the communications sector "to promote what is good and true, especially in regard to the meaning of human and social existence, and to denounce what is false, especially pernicious trends which erode the fabric of a civil society." Source: VIS
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