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'Every word has a spark of fire and life inside it!' Pope Francis urges the Catholic media to be wise with words

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Pope Francis gives Italian Catholic bishops' television station, TV 2000 a lesson in word choice and truth.

Words are one of the most powerful things in the world today. It is the media's duty to distribute information using words; how those words are used means everything.

Highlights

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "In a world where words and images are used to manipulate or to scapegoat people, Catholic media must use them with a care that shows how powerful words can be," said Pope Francis to the employees of the Italian Catholic bishops' television station, TV 2000.

Too often, communication and the media has their own agenda and brings about more propaganda than news; this could be dangerous to those forming their opinions based on the information provided through the news.

Be the voice for those who can't be heard

"Audiences have a right to be treated as people with both a brain and a heart, and to receive the information they need to make judgments about what is going on in the world," said Pope Francis.

"Reawaken words! This is the first task of a communicator. Every word has a spark of fire and life inside it," he expressed. "Too often communications meida have been used for 'propaganda, ideologies, political aims or for economic or technical control. Have the courage to speak frankly and freely."

Life has become fast-paced, people want things immediately and long for quick and ready access to almost everything. As society has been sped up, the media has had to convert into fitting the needs of people.

There are three sins which communicators must avoid, according to the Pope: misinformation, slander, and defamation.

The most serious of the three, in terms of communication, "is in fact misinformation, for it leads you to believe only one part of the truth," he said.

"If we are truly convinced of what we have to say, the words will come," explained Pope Francis. "If, on the other hand, we are preoccupied with tactical aspects, our words will be artificial and uncommunicative, insipid."

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