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ICTHUS Song

COMMUNICATION AT THE SERVICE OF AN AUTHENTIC CULTURE OF ENCOUNTER

A SUMMARY BASED ON THE MESSAGE OF THE HOLY FATHER, POPE FRANCIS ON THE OCCASION OF THE 48TH WORLD COMMUNICATIONS DAY ON ASCENSION SUNDAY, JUNE 1, 2014

BY FR. JOSELITO JOPSON, ECE, M.A. COMM, SICL
Executive Secretary, CBCP Episcopal Commission on Social Communications

We are enamored by all sorts of gadgets and technological advancements right within our reach.

The world of internet contains the most exciting arena for communications like social networking and establishing links anywhere around the global in an instant.

But despite such advancements, division is still run deep. “The world suffers from exclusion, marginalization, and poverty that borders around the combination of economic, political, ideological and even religious motives.” (Pope Francis, 48th World Communications Day Message)

For this year marking the 48th World Communications Day on Ascension Sunday, the Holy Father Pope Francis underscores an authentic culture of encounter among the people among the vast world of social communications.

Dubbed with the theme, “Communication at the service of an authentic culture of encounter”, the Holy Father stresses on communication as an “ultimately human rather than a technological achievement.”

Quoting from the document, “A culture of encounter needs a listening ear and an understanding heart that listens to different cultures and traditions.”
According to the Holy Father, the parable of the Good Samaritan provides the key to the very heart of communications: “Who is my neighbor?”

The document states: “Communication is not aimed at promoting consumption or manipulating others… We are dealing with a form of violent aggression like that suffered by the man in the parable, who was bitten by robbers and left abandoned on the road. The Levite and the priest do not regard him as a  neighbor, but as a stranger to be kept at a distance. Nowadays, there is a danger that certain media so condition our responses that we fail to see our real neighbor.”

“It is not enough to be passersby on the digital highways, simply “connected”; connections need to grow into true encounters.”

The Holy Father explains, “We need to love and be loved. The world of media is called to tenderness… The digital highway is teeming with people who are hurting, men and women looking for salvation or hope.”

The Hole Father Pope Francis encourages all Catholics to practice neighborliness to all even in the vast world of social networks.

“Show that the Church is open to all. The social networks are one way to experience this call to discover the beauty of faith, the beauty of encountering Christ.

Neighborliness demands that we dialogue with men and women, understand expectations, doubts and hopes, and bring them the Gospel, Jesus Himself.

Let our communication be a balm reliving pain and fine wine to gladden our hearts… the challenge of media is to share with others the beauty of God.”

Let us practice neighborliness in social networks and let he beauty of God emanate from this wonderful technology!

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