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Dialogue with People, bring them to meet Christ: Pope to Communicators



Vatican City, 21 September 2013: Pope Francis met the Participants of the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications on Saturday in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic palace in the Vatican. The three day meeting was focused on developing a culture of encounter with the Church through the use of social networks and other internet technology.
Thanking them for their work and their commitment to the important apostolate of social communications, the Pontiff spoke on three areas – first, the importance that the Church attaches to the area of communication; second, what role should the Church have in terms of the practical means of communication at her disposal? And the third, are we up to the task of bringing Christ into this area and of bringing others to meet Christ?

Recalling the 50th anniversary of the Conciliar Decree Inter Mirifica, the Pope said that the Decree expresses the Church’s solicitude for communication in all its forms, which are important in the work of evangelization. In the last few decades the various means of communication have evolved significantly, but the Church’s concern remains the same, though it assumes new forms and expressions.

Expanding further on the role of the Church, the Pope said that the goal is to understand how to enter into dialogue with the men and women of today in order to appreciate their desires, their doubts and their hopes. They are men and women who sometimes feel let down by a Christianity that to them appears sterile and in difficulty as it tries to communicate the depth of meaning that comes with the gift of faith. We do in fact witness today, in the age of globalization, a growing sense of disorientation and isolation; we see, increasingly, a loss of meaning to life, an inability to connect with a “home” and a struggle to build meaningful relationships. It is therefore important to know how to dialogue and, with discernment, to use modern technologies and social networks in such a way as to reveal a presence that listens, converses and encourages.
As to our task of bringing Christ into this area, the Pontiff said that the challenge is to rediscover, through the means of social communication as well as by personal contact, the beauty that is at the heart of our existence and our journey, the beauty of faith and of the encounter with Christ. Even in this world of communications, the Church must warm the hearts of men and women. We hold a precious treasure that is to be passed on, a treasure that brings light and hope.
The great digital continent not only involves technology but is made up of real men and women who bring with them their hopes, their suffering, their concerns and their pursuit of what is true, beautiful and good. We need to bring Christ to others, through these joys and hopes, like Mary, who brought Christ to the hearts of men and women; we need to pass through the clouds of indifference without losing our way; we need to descend into the darkest night without being overcome and disorientated; we need to listen to the dreams, without being seduced; to share their disappointments, without becoming despondent; to sympathize with those whose lives are falling apart, without losing our own strength and identity.
Pope Francis concluded his reflection reiterating the importance of bringing the solicitude and the presence of the Church into the world of communications so as to dialogue with the men and women of today and bring them to meet Christ.
Source: VR Sedoc

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