By Jessica Dogo
Abuja – Pope Francis on Sunday encouraged people to engage in constructive communication and foster culture of encounter without prejudice toward others.
Pope Francis gave the advice in message on 2017 World Communications Day on Sunday in Abuja, with the theme “Fear not, for I am with you: Communication Hope and Trust in our Time.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the message was read by Rev. Fr. Isemin Dominic, the Parish Priest of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Galadima, Gwaripa at Sunday Mass.
Francis said that engaging in constructive form of communication would help all to view the world with realism and trust.
“I am convinced that we have to break the vicious circle of anxiety and stem the spiral of fear resulting from a constant focus on “bad news” (wars, terrorism, scandals and all sorts of human failure).
“This has nothing to do with spreading misinformation that would ignore the tragedy of human suffering, nor is it about a naive optimism blind to the scandal of evil.
“Rather, I propose that all of us work at overcoming that feeling of growing discontent and resignation that can at times generate apathy, fear or the idea that evil has no limits.
“Moreover, in a communications industry which thinks that good news does not sell, and where the tragedy of human suffering and the mystery of evil easily turn into entertainment.
“ There is always the temptation that our consciences can be dulled or slip into pessimism.’’
The Holy Father urged people to contribute to the search for open and creative style of communication that never seeks to glamourise evil but instead to concentrate on solutions.
Francis said that they should contribute to the search for creative style of communication to inspire a positive and responsible approach on the part of its recipients.
“I ask everyone to offer the people of our time storylines that are at heart “good news”, he said.
According to him, life is not simply a bare succession of events, but a history, a story waiting to be told through the choice of an interpretative lens that can select and gather the most relevant data.
“Reality has no one clear meaning. Everything depends on the way we look at things; on the lens we use to view them.
“If we change that lens, reality itself appears different. So, how can we begin to “read” reality through the right lens?
“For us Christians, that lens can only be the good news, beginning with the Good News par excellence: “the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Son of God”, (Mark Chapter one verse one).
“With these words, Saint Mark opens his Gospel not by relating “good news” about Jesus, but rather the good news that is Jesus himself.’’
Indeed, he said reading the pages of his Gospel, we learnt that its title corresponded to its content and, above all else, this content was the very person of Jesus.
Francis urged Christians to be confident in preaching the good news of salvation to all through the way they communicate.
“Confidence in the seed of God’s Kingdom and in the mystery of Easter should also shape the way we communicate.
“This confidence enables us to carry out our work – in all the different ways that communication takes place nowadays – with the conviction that it is possible to recognise.
“It will also highlight the good news present in every story and in the face of each person.’’
NAN reports that World Communication Day is set aside by the Holy See to appreciate the importance of Communications to the growth of the Church and the promotion of peace and justice across the world.
It is also a day in which the Church appreciates Media Practitioners for the gallant role they play in helping to bring about cohesion in the troubled world.