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 CNS Story:

COMMUNICATIONS-GUADALUPE Dec-13-2007 (320 words) xxxi

Vatican official: Communicators must be like Our Lady of Guadalupe

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Like Our Lady of Guadalupe, Catholic communicators must share the message of the Gospel in a way that reflects the culture of their audience and uses images and gestures to capture imaginations and hearts, said Archbishop Claudio Celli.

In a Dec. 12 statement marking the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Archbishop Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, told Catholic communicators in Latin America that the success of their efforts depends on their love, humility and creativity.

As the "model of perfectly inculturated evangelization," Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to the Mexican Indian Juan Diego in 1531 looking like an indigenous woman, he said.

"She adapted herself to the mentality of her audience, his culture, his rhythm," Archbishop Celli said. "Her message was not made up of words alone. It was gesture, form, image, language and idiom."

Mary's example, he said, was one of "loving communication and full acceptance of the world of the other, which has a dynamic impact that changes the listener forever."

Mary did not look down on Juan Diego, who was canonized in 2002, or belittle him with her words, the archbishop said. Rather, she fully recognized his human dignity and charged him with the great task of carrying her message to others.

Archbishop Celli told the Catholic communicators that in preparing for Christmas they should be awed by the fact that God became human in Jesus Christ and that "he who was all-powerful and held the universe in his hand made himself weak and dependent."

"With the awe and marvel that this mystery has caused in believers in every generation, let us try to be like those angels who were sent to announce to the shepherds the great joy, the biggest event in history," the birth of the Lord, he said.

END


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