POPE FRANCIS reminded Catholics and media practitioners that listening is an essential element of dialogue and good communication in his homily for Ascension Sunday on May 29, which coincided with the 56th World Communications Day at St. Peter’s Square. 

“Knowing how to listen, besides being the first gesture of charity, is also the first indispensable ingredient of dialogue and of good communication: knowing how to listen, to let others say everything, not to cut them off halfway, knowing how to listen with the ears and with the heart,” the Pope said in his homily.

“I hope that everyone may grow in this capacity to listen with the heart,” he added.

In his message for this year’s World Communications Day released on Jan. 24, Pope Francis told media practitioners that “there is no good journalism without the ability to listen.” 

“To recount an event or describe an experience in news reporting, it is essential to know how to listen, to be ready to change one’s mind, to modify one’s initial assumptions,” the Pope said.

“Listening to several voices, listening to each other, even in the Church, among brothers and sisters, allows us to exercise the art of discernment,” he added.

After the Regina Coeli, the Pope invited the faithful to join him in praying the “Rosary for Peace” in Ukraine and around the world on May 31, during which he will pray the rosary before the statue of Mary Regina Pacis at the Basilica of St. Mary Major.  

“I invite the faithful, families, and communities to join this invocation to obtain from God—through the intercession of the Queen of Peace—the gift which the world awaits,” he said.

Evangelization through digital media

Bishop Broderick Pabillo, apostolic vicar of Taytay, Palawan, urged Catholics to make use of social media and mass media as a means of evangelization and to combat the spread of disinformation.

“Ngayon nakikita natin na ginagamit ang social communication sa pagpalaganap ng katiwalian at kasinungalingan, [h]uwag tayong tatahimik,” Pabillo said in his homily at the Manila Cathedral. 

“Gamitin natin ang mga pamamaraan ng panahon upang mabuksan ang puso at isip ng mga tao tungkol sa Diyos at tungkol sa kanyang pagkilos sa ating buhay,” he added.

World Communications Day is celebrated annually on the Sunday before Pentecost. 

On Dec. 4, 1963, Inter Mirifica, the decree on social communication, was promulgated by Pope Paul VI during the Second Vatican Council, with the aim of addressing the concerns and problems of social communication.

Pope Paul VI established the celebration of World Communications Day in 1967 to recognize the importance of social communication in proclaiming the gospel.


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