CHRISTIANS should continue to tell stories of faith and love of God even as the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic has changed the way of life and traditions of the Church.

This was the message of Boac Bishop Marcelino Antonio Maralit Jr., chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Commission on Social Communications, as the Church marked the 54th World Day of Communication on Ascension Sunday, May 24.

Maralit called on Catholics and social communication ministries to be “story tellers of God [and] His love for humanity.”

[Ikuwento natin] ang kuwento ng ating karanasan sa Diyos. Ang kuwento ng karanasan ng mga mananampalataya sa panahong ito tungkol sa pag-ibig ng Diyos ay siyang dapat ikuwento bilang storytellers ng Simbahan,” he said in a video posted on the CBCP Social Communications Facebook page.

Maralit said telling stories would serve as a reminder of how God continues to value his people.

Tayo ay inaanyayahan [ng Santo Papa] na isagawa muli ang pagkukuwento na nagpanibago sa ating lahat — ang mga kuwento na nagbibigay mensahe na patuloy tayong minamahal ng Diyos. At itong mga kuwento [ng karanasan ng Kristiyano] ay dapat isagawa sapagkat ito ay mga kuwento hanggang sa kasulukuyan,” he said.

Manila Apostolic Administrator Broderick Pabillo said media has been a great help to Catholics through online Masses and the dissemination of information on church activities.

Sa Simbahan, nakita natin ang kabutihan at kapakinabangan ng media. Dahil dito napaabot sa marami ang impormasiyon na kailangan natin. Kaya ang mga media people ay frontliners dahil tinulungan tayong manatili sa Diyos sa pamamagitan nga mga online Masses, online reflections at online Flores de Mayo,” Pabillo said.

Thomasian graduate Fr. Santosh Digal urged journalists to be wary of the spread of disinformation that could be hard to catch up with.

“As promoters of truth and information, I think we need to make constant effort to educate people on media education and critical thinking to promote news literacy. [D]isinformation is always there… so we need to promote truth and good information for the sake of society and people,” Digal told the Varsitarian.

On May 6, Pope Francis called on the faithful to pray for media workers exposing themselves to risk in covering the pandemic.

“I pray today for the men and women who worked in the media during this pandemic. They risk a lot and they are working a lot. May the Lord help them in this work to transmit the truth always,” the Pope at Casa Santa Marta in Vatican.

In Pope’s message for the 54th World Communications Day, he urged Catholics to be mindful in disseminating stories, because a destructive and provocative narrative could strip one’s dignity.

“We may not even realize how greedy we have become for chatter and gossip, or how much violence and falsehood we are consuming,” the Pope said.

Francis said the history of Christ is always timely and that every human story is divine.

“Every human story has an irrepressible dignity. Consequently, humanity deserves stories that are worthy of it, worthy of that dizzying and fascinating height to which Jesus elevated it,” he said.

The message was released on Jan. 24, the feast day of St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of communicators and journalists.

World Communications Day was celebrated last May 24 with the theme, “That you may tell your children and grandchildren, life becomes history.”

The celebration of World Communication Sunday was established by Pope Paul VI in 1967 following the Second Vatican Council, which recognized the potential of modern means of social communication in communicating the gospel.


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