Journalists: That journalists, in carrying out their work, may always be motivated by respect for truth and a strong sense of ethics.
Journalists are obligated to provide news and commentary that are truthful. To do otherwise is to sin against the eighth Commandment. The Catechism says: “By the very nature of their profession, journalists have an obligation to serve the truth and not offend against charity in disseminating information.” In other words, though it is important to report news honestly, the journalist must also respect the dignity of others.
The Catechism continues: “The information provided by the media is at the service of the common good. Society has a right to information based on truth, freedom, justice, and solidarity. The proper exercise of this right demands that the content of the communication be true and—within the limits set by justice and charity—complete. Further, it should be communicated honestly and properly. This means that in the gathering and in the publication of news, the legitimate rights and dignity of man should be upheld.”
Like the journalists, the consumers of media also have a serious obligation. We are to be discerning in our use of media. The Catechism says: “The means of social communication (especially the mass media) can give rise to a certain passivity among users, making them less than vigilant consumers of what is said or shown. Users should practice moderation and discipline in their approach to the mass media. They will want to form enlightened and correct consciences the more easily to resist unwholesome influences.”
As we pray for journalists this month we also examine ourselves and ask whether we spend an inordinate amount of time using media simply out of curiosity and an appetite for the sensational? Do we use reputable sources of information? Where do we receive our information about the Church?
What resources are available to help me understand from a Christian perspective what is going on in the world and the Church?
2 Peter 3: 14-18 “Be on your guard not to be led into the error of the unprincipled.”
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may renew within all Christian communities the joy of the Gospel and the responsibility to announce it.
In his Message for the 90th World Mission Day which will be celebrated on October 23, Pope Francis called the work of evangelization an “immense work of mercy, both spiritual and material.” He went on to say that “all of us are invited to ‘go out’ as missionary disciples, each generously offering our talents, creativity, wisdom and experience to bring the message of God’s tenderness and compassion to the entire human family. By virtue of the missionary mandate, the Church cares for those who do not know the Gospel, because she wants everyone to be saved and to experience the Lord’s love.”
This is what motivated Jesus, his disciples, St. Paul, and the Church throughout the centuries. It is what motivates us—an all-consuming desire for the salvation of every human soul. Pope Francis wrote: “As they travel through the streets of the world, the disciples of Jesus need to have a love without limits, the same measure of love that our Lord has for all people. We proclaim the most beautiful and greatest gifts that he has given us: his life and his love.”
But how can we have such “a love without limits”? We find it when we encounter Jesus in the Scriptures and the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist. As the Pope wrote: “When we welcome and follow Jesus by means of the Gospel and sacraments, we can, with the help of the Holy Spirit, become merciful as our heavenly Father is merciful; we can learn to love as he loves us and make of our lives a free gift, a sign of his goodness.”
Every day, we can “make of our lives a free gift” by offering its minutes and hours for the salvation of every person. In doing this we become missionaries without even leaving home and our entire life, joined to Jesus’ perfect offering of himself on the cross and in the Eucharist, becomes a sign of merciful love in a world that desperately needs it.
How is evangelization an “immense work of mercy”?
2 Corinthians 5: 14-21 “The love of Christ impels us.”
Links for October, 2016
- Pope Francis’ Address to Journalists at La Civiltà Cattolica on June 14, 2013: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2013/june/documents/papa-francesco_20130614_la-civilta-cattolica.html
- Pope Francis’ 2014 Message for World Communications Day: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/communications/documents/papa-francesco_20140124_messaggio-comunicazioni-sociali.html
- The Catechism of the Catholic Church on the Media: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P8M.HTM
For more information and reflection:
- Pontifical Mission Societies: http://www.propfaith.net/onefamilyinmission/WorldMissionSunday.aspx
- Pope Francis’ Message for World Mission Day: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/missions/documents/papa-francesco_20160515_giornata-missionaria2016.html