Thursday, 21st February 2019
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The theme chosen by Pope Francis for World Communications Day 2017 is ‘Fear not I am with you (Is 43:5) Communicating Hope & Trust in our Time
In his message the Pope refers to the manner in which technology makes it possible for all of us to share news instantly and spread it widely. In this context he emphasises the importance of constructive forms of communication that reject prejudice towards others and foster a culture of encounter.
He says ‘I am convinced that we have to break the vicious circle of anxiety and stem the spiral of fear resulting from a constant focus on “bad news” (wars, terrorism, scandals and all sorts of human failure). This has nothing to do with spreading misinformation that would ignore the tragedy of human suffering, nor is it about a naive optimism blind to the scandal of evil. Rather, I propose that all of us work at overcoming that feeling of growing discontent and resignation that can at times generate apathy, fear or the idea that evil has no limits. Moreover, in a communications industry which thinks that good news does not sell, and where the tragedy of human suffering and the mystery of evil easily turn into entertainment, there is always the temptation that our consciences can be dulled or slip into pessimism’
Martin Browne, a Benedictine of Glenstal Abbey teased out some aspects of the Popes message when he spoke with Marie Stuart.