Notable quotations from Pope Francis and official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
Communication is part of God's plan for us and an essential way to experience fellowship. Made in the image and likeness of our Creator, we are able to express and share all that is true, good, and beautiful. We are able to describe our own experiences and the world around us, and thus to create historical memory and understanding of events. But when we yield to our own pride and selfishness, we can also distort the way we use our ability to communicate.
... We are witnessing the spread of what has come to be known as "fake news". This calls for reflection, which is why I have decided to return in this ... Message to the issue of truth, which was raised time and time again by my predecessors...
... I would like to contribute to our shared commitment to stemming the spread of fake news and to rediscovering the dignity of journalism and the personal responsibility of journalists to communicate the truth.
So how do we defend ourselves? The most radical antidote to the virus of falsehood is purification by the truth. In Christianity, truth is not just a just a conceptual reality that regards how we judge things, defining them as true or false... Truth involves our whole life... Truth is something you can lean on, so as not to fall... The only truly reliable and trustworthy One ... is the Living God. Hence, Jesus can say: "I am the truth"( Jn 14:6)
We discover and rediscover the truth when we experience it within ourselves in the loyalty and trustworthiness of the One who loves us. This alone can liberate us: "The truth will set you free" (Jn 8:32).
The best antidotes to falsehoods are not strategies, but people: who are not greedy but ready to listen, people who make the effort to engage in sincere dialogue so that the truth can emerge; people who are attracted by goodness and take responsibility for how they use language .. A weighty responsibility rests on the shoulders of those whose job is to provide information, namely, journalists, the protectors of news.
I would like ... to invite everyone to promote a journalism of peace... I mean a journalism that is truthful and opposed to falsehoods, rhetorical slogans, and sensational headlines. A journalism created by people for people, one that is at the service of all, especially those ... who have no voice. A journalism less concentrated on breaking news than on exploring the underlying causes of conflicts, in order to promote deeper understanding and contribute to their resolution by setting in place virtuous processes. A journalism committed to pointing out alternatives to the escalation of shouting matches and verbal violence.
(Source: Message for World Communications Sunday, 1/24/18)
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