Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
greater breadth, the Italian edition of L'Osservatore Romano. It is not we who have invented the contents of the mission but we receive it, read it in relation to the problems of the time, the expectations of the audience, translating and explaining and "inculturating" it. We see the proclamation of the Church closely related with the reality of the world; we do not think of a Catholic communication separated from a "profane" communication, what interest us is man, the whole man and his problems seen from the perspective of the Gospel. Naturally, we are interested in the life of the Church in her daily happenings, but also in the whole life of humanity with its problems of development, justice, peace, human moral and spiritual growth, and its risks and problems. Vatican Radio's news tries not to be only ecclesial information but also integral information, and for us the Pope is the main commentator, even in what refers to the events of humanity today on which he usually intervenes indirectly with his teachings of a more general character, but also directly with his appeals and evaluations of social and political developments in relation to the good of people and society.
Naturally, in this activity we try to implement the fundamental criteria of the Christian view of information, valid for all the media, which we can briefly recall.
Service to truth and objectivity, placing ourselves in a Christian perspective, offering the facts of the problems and trying to help listeners to reflect on their causes, explaining the positions of the Church. Many listeners -- in different regions of the world -- tell us they appreciate information that is not guided by economic, political or ideological interests, and that is distinguished from other international broadcasting stations, dependent on strong political interests.
Service of a reality that does not exclude God. Benedict XVI insists on the need for a "realism" that does not reduce the realities of this world to a single subject, to the economy and technology. Because of this, it is important not to divide rigidly the information between the sacred and profane, the ecclesiastical and the mundane, but to demonstrate that the moral and religious dimensions are an essential and important part of the realm of life. Very significant from this point of view is the "hierarchy" of the news, the order in which it is given. In a world that is confused and disorients, one of the great services that we must give is to help the people of today to "put order" in the very way of seeing things and events, to distinguish what is more important and grave from what is less so.
Service to justice. We must pay special attention to the poorest areas and the forgotten wars, reacting in face of the great existing imbalance in world information between the "North and the South" -- be it on news, one of the possibilities to inform and to be informed --, valuing the great possibilities that the Church has of having a more just view of the problems, thanks to her capillary and close presence to people in so many places of the world (with her missionaries, aid activities, etc., that can become precious first hand points of information). I am proud that in recent research carried out in Italy on international information regarding news on the conflicts and "forgotten wars" in today's world, Vatican Radio was found to be the broadcasting station with the greatest number of news items, higher than RAI (Italian Radio and Television), including all the channels of RAI itself.
Service for peace. We must always try to favor understanding and dialogue between different positions and different peoples and not accentuate the oppositions. We must be able to "live" the tensions with patience, including the price of being criticized. We must always use with determination a respectful, balanced and non-aggressive language towards others, capable of inspiring serenity of judgment and mutual understanding. I have acquired much experience in Vatican Radio as to how difficult it would be, but at the same time how important it is, to help those who live personally in a conflict -- I am thinking of the Balkans and Africa, which have involved personally many of our writers of different linguistic groups -- not allowing themselves to be drawn and to give partial information or evaluation, as those proffered by the greater part of the organs of information of the countries in conflict, but to speak always as the voice of the Church, which places herself above the parties and continues, at any cost, to exhort to dialogue, reconciliation and peace.
In the ambit of information for peace, the information of the Holy See -- and I think yours as well -- has a very rich and up-to-date field in ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue (let us think of our way of speaking of Islam, or of our way of speaking to countries where a good part of our audience or ...
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