Cultural Meeting in the Americas a First of Its Kind

Cardinal Law Warns of Media´s Power in Globalized World

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PUEBLA, Mexico, JULY 17, 2001 (Zenit.org).- The power of the news media, which rests in a few hands, is a serious challenge for the Church in an age of globalization, a cardinal warns.



For the first time, the directors of the departments of culture of the bishops´ conferences of all the Americas met with officials of the Pontifical Council for Culture. This first continental cultural meeting focused on problems in transmitting the Gospel.

French Cardinal Paul Poupard, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, gave his impressions of the meeting over Vatican Radio.

"Following my opening address, the first talk on the media culture ... was by Cardinal [Bernard] Law, archbishop of Boston," the French cardinal said. "It was very important, because we all know that the U.S. media, especially through the powerful CNN network, gives what always seems to be the ultimate truth of the day to more than a billion people in the world."

He added: "Cardinal Law did not hide from us the seriousness of the situation in this era of globalization, in which there are very few people who choose the news, who choose the way to present the news, which is not always favorable to the Catholic Church."

The second address was that of Cardinal Claudio Hummes of Sao Paulo, who spoke about the difficulty of cultural pastoral care in big cities, such as metropolitan Mexico City, with 25 million inhabitants.

Participants agreed that a proper formation of priests and laity is crucial to ensure that people arriving in the metropolises do not lose their traditional human, cultural and spiritual roots.

Cardinal Poupard met with rectors of Mexican universities to discuss the cultural plan of the institutions.

"We are living at a time of pluralism, which often generates skepticism," Cardinal Poupard said. "Therefore, it is necessary to form professors, so that they will be real educators -- always respecting the methodology proper to each school -- but have the integral formation of the person as their common objective."

He added: "We must act in such a way that ... there is always a real school of thought and action, what we call the pastoral care of intelligence. Taking up the program recently delineated by the Holy Father in his last apostolic letter, [there is a] need to promote and work in holiness also in the university."

He concluded: "It is necessary to remember the need to promote a culture of hope in Christ the Redeemer."