Vatican City - The search for truth must be the priority of journalists and the Catholic media in a world in which the importance attached to appearances predominates, even when it is detached from reality and gives rise to a virtual world that confuses what is true with what is false. This at times is also seen when the reporting of an event is reduced to pure entertainment, just to stir emotions, and not as an occasion for reflection. These are the considerations which Benedict XVI invited journalists from the Catholic world of communications to reflect on, calling on them to "take the high road of truth."
"The search for truth - the Pope said this morning to participants at the Catholic press Congress organized by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications - must be pursued by Catholic journalists with passionate hearts and minds, but with professionalism too, as competent operators who have adequate and effective means at their disposal. This is even more important in the current historical moment, which calls on the figure of the journalist, as a mediator of information, to make a profound change. "
"Today, for example, the world of appearances has an increasing weight with the development of new technologies; but if on the one hand this has doubtless positive aspects, on the other, the image can also become detached from reality , it can give life to a virtual world, with diverse consequences, the first of which is the risk of indifference to the truth. In fact, new technologies, together with the progress that they bring, can result in what is true and what is false becoming interchangeable, it can lead to confusing the real with the virtual. In addition, reporting of an event, happy or sad, can be consumed as entertainment and not as an occasion for reflection. The search for ways to authentically promote man then disappears into the background, because the event is presented primarily to arouse emotions. These issues are alarm bells: an invitation to consider the danger that the virtual distances us from reality and does not stimulate the pursuit of what is true, the truth. "
"In this context, the Catholic press is called, in a new way to deliver fully on its potential and to give account each and every day of its indispensable mission. The Church has a facilitating factor, since the Christian faith has a basic structure in common with communication: the fact that the means and the message coincide, because the Son of God, the Word made flesh, is at the same time, the message of salvation and the means by which salvation is realized”.
"It is clear that the challenge of communication is for the Church and for all who share its mission, very hard. Christians can not ignore the crisis of faith that has overtaken society, or simply rely on the heritage of values passed down through past centuries to continue to inspire and shape the future of the human family. The idea of living 'as if God did not exist' has proved to be detrimental: rather the world needs than to live 'as if God exists', even if there is not the strength to believe, otherwise it only produces an' inhuman humanism '".
"The times we are living in, while having a significant positive charge and because the threads of history are in the hands of God and his eternal plan is revealed more and more, are also marked by many shadows. Your task dear workers of the Catholic press, - the Pope concluded addressing those present - is to help modern man to orient themselves to Christ, the only Saviour, and to keep the flame of hope alive in the world, to live with dignity today and build a better future. "