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POPE-TELEVISION Oct-18-2013 (340 words) xxxi

Catholic media bring church closer to people, pope says

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Catholic media are important not only as means of documenting church events, Pope Francis said, but especially as means for bringing the church and the Gospel closer to people.

Catholic media professionals must report news and share stories, "dialoguing with a world that has a need to be listened to and understood, but also needs to receive the message of true life," the pope said Oct. 18.

In a message to employees of the Vatican Television Center, which was marking its 30th anniversary as a producer and distributor of Vatican and papal video, Pope Francis said the Catholic Church needs the best communications media available, but they must be used as a service to the church and part of its evangelizing mission.

"We live in a world in which there is almost nothing that doesn't have something to do with the universe of the media. Increasingly sophisticated instruments reinforce the almost pervasive role of communications technologies, language and forms in daily life, and not only among the young," the pope said.

In the midst of all those words, sounds and images, he said, it is not easy to recount events related to the life of the church, "which is a sign and instrument of an intimate union with God and is the body of Christ, the people of God, the temple of the Holy Spirit."

Catholic media professionals, the pope said, must have "a strong ability to read reality in a spiritual key," as well as a thorough understanding of and respect for the religious events they are covering.

The Vatican Television Center, he said, can bring the pope's words to a massive audience, including to the lonely and to people who live in places where professing Christianity requires courage.

"It is important to remember that the church is present in the world of communications, in all its forms, most of all to lead people to an encounter with the Lord Jesus," he said. "Only an encounter with Jesus can transform human hearts and human history."

END


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