As Pope Francis recalls World Communications Day, the Prefect of the Dicastery for Communication reflects on the Church’s role in building a new communications model founded on encounter.
At the Regina Caeli prayer on Sunday, Pope Francis recalled his message for World Communications Day on 24 May, which is dedicated to the theme of storytelling.
The Pope prayed that this recurrence might help us tell stories that look forward to the future with hope.
“May this event encourage us to tell and share constructive stories that help us to understand that we are all part of a story that is larger than ourselves, and can look forward to the future with hope if we truly care for one another as brothers and sisters,” the Pope said.
Sharing a new perspective
To mark the occasion, Dr. Paolo Ruffini, the Prefect of the Dicastery for Communication (Vatican News’ parent organisation), released a video message, and reflects on Pope Francis’ message for World Communications Day.
Dr. Ruffini says the key to the message is the “sharing” of our own experiences, which allows us to build a new story in “a prospective of Redemption.”
Our recent experience of isolation and social-distancing due to the COVID-19 lockdown, says the Prefect, has taught us to rediscover that God provides a deeper communion to bind us.
“In our experience of separation, we have understood the heart of communion,” he says. “Without the ability to find unity in our experiences, there is neither wisdom nor knowledge. Everything is reduced to a list of facts without a unifying story.”
Healthy union of good will
Dr. Ruffini says the pandemic has offered us a choice: “to entrust ourselves only to technology or to give it a soul.”
Fake news, he adds, has also proliferated. “Everything depends upon where we base our hope.” We have the opportunity to “respond to the unhealthy union of the pandemic with the healthy union of good will.”
The pandemic has also given us the chance to find the courage to build welcoming communities founded on good forms of communication.
“Communication,” he says, “needs to be re-rooted in a network that is both global and local, digital and real. Communication serves to unite, not to divide; to give and not to buy or sell. We must give technology a transcendent dimension.”
Building human relationships
Encounter, says the Prefect, provides the basis for true communication.
We therefore need to discover ways to use the internet to maintain “the incarnate relationship between people” while building “an economy of sharing.” It this vision, says Dr. Ruffini, all people must be encouraged to participate by giving their time, talents, money, and prayer.
A smile becomes a story
An outgoing Church, he says, can help “build communion across all means of communication.”
“The time has come to think about communication as a way to redistribute surplus goods, knowledge, and love.”
In conclusion, Dr. Ruffini says each of us “can be the smile of those who have preceded us. Every story can be refashioned and redeemed by sharing a smile that becomes a story.”
With thanks to Vatican News, where this article originally appeared.