‘Come and See’ Pope recognises World Communications DaySunday 16th May 2021
“Come and See” (Jn 1:46). Communicating by Encountering People Where and as They Are
In a letter to mark the 2021 World Communications Day, Pope Francis has chosen the theme ‘Come and See’: “The invitation to “come and see”, which was part of those first moving encounters of Jesus with the disciples, is also the method for all authentic human communication.”
Pope Francis shared a letter with five headings: “Hitting the streets”, The Gospels as news stories, Thanks to the courage of many journalists, Opportunities and hidden dangers on the web and Nothing replaces seeing things at first hand.
Pope Francis thanked journalists for their courage and highlighted the need to accurately report the stories of different people: “Many situations in our world, even more so in this time of pandemic, are inviting the communications media to “come and see”. We can risk reporting the pandemic, and indeed every crisis, only through the lens of the richer nations, of “keeping two sets of books”. For example, there is the question of vaccines, and medical care in general, which risks excluding the poorer peoples. Who would keep us informed about the long wait for treatment in the poverty-stricken villages of Asia, Latin America and Africa? Social and economic differences on the global level risk dictating the order of distribution of anti-Covid vaccines, with the poor always at the end of the line and the right to universal health care affirmed in principle, but stripped of real effect. Yet even in the world of the more fortunate, the social tragedy of families rapidly slipping into poverty remains largely hidden; people who are no longer ashamed to wait in line before charitable organizations in order to receive a package of provisions do not tend to make news.”
He also warned against misinformation and misuse of social communications tools: “The risk of misinformation being spread on social media has become evident to everyone. We have known for some time that news and even images can be easily manipulated, for any number of reasons, at times simply for sheer narcissism. Being critical in this regard is not about demonizing the internet, but is rather an incentive to greater discernment and responsibility for contents both sent and received. All of us are responsible for the communications we make, for the information we share, for the control that we can exert over fake news by exposing it. All of us are to be witnesses of the truth: to go, to see and to share.”
Today we pray for all those working in communications and the media.
Lord, teach us to move beyond ourselves,
and to set out in search of truth.
Teach us to go out and see,
teach us to listen,
not to entertain prejudices
or draw hasty conclusions.
Teach us to go where no one else will go,
to take the time needed to understand,
to pay attention to the essentials,
not to be distracted by the superfluous,
to distinguish deceptive appearances from the truth.
Grant us the grace to recognize your dwelling places in our world
and the honesty needed to tell others what we have seen.
Tagged | Catholic Church