New Delhi (Agenzia Fides) – On Sunday 16 November the Catholic Church in India marks National Communications Day, reflecting on the theme chosen by Pope John Paul II for the World Day this year “Media at the service of authentic peace in the light of Pacem in terris”. For the event Catholic communities all over the country have organised meetings of formation, liturgies and seminars on the theme of communications and peace in the context of India today.
In a report sent to Fides, Salesian Father Darryl D'Souza, director of the Don Bosco Information Service Bombay says that in the face of increasing violence all over the world “all media operators and consumers have a duty to promote authentic peace through justice, truth, freedom and love ”, the four pillars of peace indicated by Pope John XXII in Pacem in terris.
“Communicators – says Father D’Souza – are called to guarantee free access to information and to serve the common good according to the moral imperatives of their conscience as well as guarantee every person all the information they need”.
With regard to the threat of radicalisation of conflict between ethnic and religious communities in India the message says “the means of communication should avoid inciting to hatred instead they should help build peace breaking down barriers between faiths and marking out paths of reconciliation, forgiveness and reciprocal respect.”.
Bishop Bosco Penha, auxiliary of Bombay, speaking to Fides said “in a world marked by selfishness manipulation and violence in which communication is often used to promote distorted values it is necessary to ensure quality communication ”. And he underlined the important role of Catholic laity in this field: “The Church should focus her efforts on providing formation in the field of communications more to lay persons than clergy”, and he welcomed the Association of Pauline Co-operators in India, lay Catholics working with Pauline Religious in the media apostolate.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 11/11/2003 lines 33 words 323)