Brief information about World Communications Day and why the church celebrate…
What is World Communications Day?
Every year on the Sunday before Pentecost the Church celebrates the achievements of the communications media and focuses of how it can best use them to promote gospel values.
Every year on the Sunday before Pentecost the Church celebrates the achievements of the communications media and focuses of how it can best use them to promote gospel values. Patrick Duffy explains what it is and refers to both the achievements and new initiatives of CatholicIreland.net.
What is it?
World Communications Day was established by Pope Paul VI in 1967 as an annual celebration that encourages us to reflect on the opportunities and challenges that the modern means of social communication (the press, motions pictures, radio, television and the internet) afford the Church to communicate the gospel message.
Where did it come from?
The celebration came in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, which realised it must engage fully with the modern world. This realisation is expressed in the opening statement of the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes on “The Church in the Modern World”, which says: “The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anguishes of the people of our time, especially of those who are poor or afflicted in any way, are the joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anguishes of the followers of Christ as well.”
Why it is celebrated every year?
In setting it up on Sunday 7th May 1967, less than two years after the Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI, knowing that the Church is truly and intimately linked with mankind and its history, wanted to draw attention to the communications media and the enormous power they have for cultural transformation.
He and his successors have consistently recognised the positive opportunities the communications media afford for enriching human lives with the values of truth, beauty and goodness, but also the possibly negative effects of spreading less noble values and pressurising minds and consciences with a multiplicity of contradictory appeals.
The communications world: first Areopagus of the modern age
Pope John Paul II (1990) in his encyclical Redemptoris missio 37 said: “The world of communications is the first Areopagus of the modern age, unifying humanity and turning it into what is known as a ‘global village’. The communications media have acquired such importance as to be for many the chief means of information and education, of guidance and inspiration for many people in their personal, family and social behaviour. In particular, the younger generation is growing up in a world conditioned by the mass media.”
This year, In his message for the World Communications Day 2018, Pope Francis calls for a “journalism for peace” in response to the threat of fake news, which “thrives on the absence of healthy confrontation with other sources of information”.
The Holy Father explores what makes fake news ‘fake’, how to recognize it, truth as an antidote, and how a “journalism for peace” takes people as its focus.
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