On the second day of their annual plenary assembly yesterday, the members, the Pontifical Council for Social Communications were welcomed by the Holy Father. Noting that it was the solemnity of the Annunciation, "when the Good News of our salvation in Jesus Christ was announced by the Angel Gabriel to Mary," the Pope said it is the council's duty to make this news "ever more effectively present in the world of the media." "There is no question that the media today exercise a most powerful and pervasive influence, forming and informing public opinion on a local, national and global scale. As we reflect on this fact, a passage from St Paul's Letter to the Ephesians comes to mind: 'Let every one speak the truth with his neighbour, for we are members one of another'. These words of the Apostle form an apt summary of what should be two basic aims of modern social communications: Making the truth ever more widely known and increasing solidarity within the human family." John Paul II remarked that, for his Message for the 37th World Day of Social Communications, he chose a theme suggested by Blessed Pope John XXIII in "Pacem in terris", when he called for "'fairness and impartiality' in the use of the 'instruments for the promotion and spread of mutual understanding between nations'. ... In that Message I noted that 'the fundamental moral requirement of all communications is respect for and service of the truth." He concluded: "In fact, truth and solidarity are two of the most efficacious means available for overcoming hatred, resolving conflict and eliminating violence. They are also indispensable for re-establishing and strengthening the mutual bonds of understanding, trust and compassion that unite all individuals, peoples and nations, regardless of their ethnic or cultural origin. In short, truth and solidarity are necessary if humanity is to succeed in building a culture of life, a civilization of love, a world of peace."
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