Cardinal: New Evangelization Needs Journalists

Calls Catholic Media "Instruments of Hope"

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TORONTO, MAY 30, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The New Evangelization needs journalists to penetrate the current media-driven society, says Cardinal Marc Ouellet.



In the closing address of the Catholic Media Convention 2008, the archbishop of Quebec added that the New Evangelization is "the greatest challenge facing the Church at the beginning of the new millennium."

The media congress, which ended today in Toronto, had as its theme "Proclaim it From the Rooftops."

"It's not always easy for a Church steeped in centuries of tradition to adapt to a modern communication's culture," said Cardinal Ouellet.

He added, "Let us never forget that the Church is communication and therefore the Church media work is inextricably linked with its other evangelization efforts."

"Communications and media are much more than technical facilities. While these are vital, at the heart of communications are people, resources and funds, developed for specific purposes," the cardinal warned. "They call for a missionary engagement with modern culture, for mission is constitutive of the Church. God transcends culture but also meets us in our culture."

Citing Benedict XVI's message for World Communications Day, Cardinal Ouellet said the role of media "must now be considered an integral part of the 'anthropological' question that is emerging as the key challenge of the third millennium."

Ethics

The cardinal explained: "Just as we see happening in areas such as human life, marriage and the family, and in the great contemporary issues of peace, justice and protection of creation, so too in the sector of social communications there are essential dimensions of the human person and the truth concerning the human person coming into play.

"When communication loses its ethical underpinning and eludes society's control, it ends up no longer taking into account the centrality and inviolable dignity of the human person. As a result it risks exercising a negative influence on people's consciences and choices and definitively conditioning their freedom and their very lives."

Cardinal Ouellet expressed enthusiasm about the media's potential: "One might even say that seeking and presenting the truth about humanity constitutes the highest vocation of social communication. Utilizing for this purpose the many refined and engaging techniques that the media have at their disposal is an exciting task."

He concluded asking for prayers not only for more vocations to the priesthood, consecrated life and married life, but also vocations to the "noble calling of Catholic journalists, communicators and media agents."

"You are instruments of hope to the Church and the world," the cardinal said. "You must influence your brothers and sisters and colleagues who work in the secular media and help them to avoid the risk of being transformed into systems aimed at subjecting humanity to agendas dictated by the dominant interests of the day."

"This is the challenge facing the media," he added, "the challenge we must all face in our daily lives in order to become men and women who show solidarity to all mankind."