The Vatican has released Pope Francis' message for the 51st World Day of Social Communications. This year’s theme is "Fear not, for I am with you", conveying a sense of hope and trust in our time.
The World Day of Social Communications is celebrated in almost all countries on the Sunday before Pentecost. The message is being issued on 24 January, the feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron of journalists.
Pope Francis made the 2017 edition of this day one of hope. According to the pope, our media system is faced with two great risks: first, that "our consciences can be dulled"; and then, that they can "slip into pessimism."
Some journalists and commentators, living comfortably in the big cities - far from poverty and conflict areas - do not pay enough attention to the tragedies that millions of people are experiencing at the other end of the planet. In doing so, they take refuge in their comfort and indifference.
Some of the media sin instead in the opposite extreme: unscrupulous, they exploit and showcase violence and destitution, transforming them into a grotesque spectacle. In doing so, they contribute to the reigning cynicism, and to the climate of fear and distrust that prevails today.
Pope Francis therefore urges the media to tell the history of the world and of our times from the perspective of the Good News, by continuously keeping their sights set on confidence, hope and "the horizon of the Kingdom." The pope says that another world is possible. The media can contribute to it, by shining the spotlight on the signs of hope that are unfolding before our eyes, even in the most adverse circumstances.
Read the message here