Pope Francis encouraged Catholic communicators to promote peace in the digital world through education and networking to combat disinformation.
This is what the Holy Father wrote to the World Catholic Association for Communication (SIGNIS) on the occasion of an upcoming World Congress with the theme “Peace in the digital world” that will take place in Seoul from August 15 to 18.
In a message released by the Holy See Press Office on July 18, Pope Francis highlighted the important role that SIGNIS plays “through media education, the creation of networks of Catholic media and the fight against lies and misinformation”.
In this line, the Pope encouraged them “to persevere in these efforts, paying special attention to the need to help people, especially young people, to develop a solid critical sense, learning to distinguish truth from falsehood, correct wrong, good from evil, and to appreciate the importance of working for justice, social harmony and respect for our common home”.
In addition, the Holy Father invited to take into account “the many communities of our world that continue to be excluded from the digital space, making digital inclusion a priority in their organizational planning” because by avoiding this exclusion “they will contribute significantly to the dissemination of a culture of peace based on the truth of the Gospel”.
Likewise, the Pope highlighted that the next SIGNIS World Congress will be held in South Korea, for which he exhorted to remember that it is “a land whose history of evangelization shows the power of the printed word and the essential role of laity in spreading the Gospel.
Therefore, the Holy Father suggested invoking the intercession of Saint Andrew Kim and his fellow martyrs in Korea so that they “confirm their own efforts to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the language of contemporary media.”
The Pope then recognized that the digital world can unite people, as happened during the months of confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic in which “we clearly saw how digital media could unite us, not only by disseminating essential information, but also by saving the loneliness of isolation and, in many cases, uniting entire families and ecclesial communities in prayer and worship”.
However, the Pontiff also stressed that at times, the use of digital media, especially social networks, “has raised a series of serious ethical problems that require wise and insightful judgment on the part of communicators and all those concerned.” for the authenticity and quality of human relations”.
Finally, the Pope recalled his Message for the 2022 Social Communications Day in which he highlighted the importance of listening as an “indispensable ingredient of dialogue and good communication.”
In this sense, Pope Francis exhorted Catholic communicators to develop their ability to “listen with the ear of the heart” in order to carry out the “apostolate of listening” because “communication is not only a profession, but a service to dialogue and to the understanding between individuals and the broader communities in the search for a serene and peaceful coexistence”.