Catholic Media Also Need "Info-Ethics"
Archbishop Celli: Press Should Show Respect for All Men
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ROME, JAN. 31, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Catholic mass media should not fall into the temptation of being a voice of religious fundamentalism, says the president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communication.
In presenting Benedict XVI's message for the 42nd World Communications Day, Archbishop Claudio Celli considered the Pope's proposal of "info-ethics."
Noting the Pope's reflections in the message, Archbishop Celli cautioned that "Catholic mass media cannot dispense with the ethical problem faced by all the media, because it is undeniable that everything that affects man as man should be a point of reference" also for Catholic media. "Only our media should have, I think, something more, because man is not the only point of reference, but rather in this search for truth, for us, this truth is a person: Jesus Christ."
It is essential to be aware, the prelate added, that "our media is directed not just to Catholics, but to all men. They are not media for Catholics, but rather are the presence of a Catholic reality that is open to man, all men."
He offered the example of Catholic newspapers or radio. "It is undeniable," Archbishop Celli said, "that they don't exist only for -- or are directed only to -- people who already belong to the Church, rather they should also give careful attention to what exists in the soul of man, in his heart, where sometimes there can be distance from God, or many times, a deep nostalgia for God."
Our media, he summarized, "should search, and help in the search. Our media should not become, allow me to say it this way, instruments of a religious or cultural fundamentalism."
Archbishop Celli contended that Catholic media should be at the service of the culture.
He explained that media should know how to enter "in this search that man embarks upon every day […] as instruments of this 'diaconia' of the culture […] instruments that teach what it means to dialogue, to be men who respect others' positions, who know how to welcome, who know how to understand."
"I emphasize it again," Archbishop Celli stated, "We are not seeking a religious fundamentalism, because sometimes this is the risk. And the Church itself is not that; it is not a 'tower of marble'" that proudly stands "in its possession of the truth, but rather a Church that knows how to welcome, understand, dialogue, respect."
"And if this is the Church," he affirmed, "this should also be the social media that have Catholics as their professional staff."