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Communication and mercy: A fruitful encounter

October 8, 2015
Vatican Information Service

VATICAN CITY – “Communication and mercy: A fruitful encounter” is the theme chosen by Pope Francis for World Communications Day.

The choice of theme this year has clearly been determined by the celebration of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, and the Holy Father undoubtedly desired that World Communications Day would provide the appropriate occasion to reflect on the deep synergy between communication and mercy.

In the Bull of Indiction of the Jubilee Year, in paragraph 12, the pope affirms that the church is commissioned to announce the mercy of God, the beating heart of the Gospel, which in its own way must penetrate the heart and mind of every person. He adds that her language and her gestures must transmit mercy, so as to touch the hearts of all people and inspire them once more to find the road that leads to the Father.

It is helpful, in this regard, that communication is a key element for the promotion of a culture of encounter. The pope, on this occasion, refers to the language and gestures of the church but the context makes it clear that all men and women in their own communications, in their reaching out to meet others, ought to be motivated by a deep expression of welcome, availability and forgiveness.

The theme highlights the capacity of good communication to open up a space for dialogue, mutual understanding and reconciliation, thereby allowing fruitful human encounters to flourish. At a time when our attention is often drawn to the polarized and judgmental nature of much commentary on the social networks, the theme invokes the power of words and gestures to overcome misunderstandings, to heal memories and to build peace and harmony.

Once again, Pope Francis is reminding us that, in its essence, communication is a profoundly human achievement. Good communication is never merely the product of the latest or most developed technology, but is realized within the context of a deep interpersonal relationship.

World Communications Day, the only annual worldwide event called for by the Second Vatican Council, is celebrated in most countries, on the recommendation of the bishops of the world, on the Sunday before Pentecost (May 8, 2016).

The pope’s message for World Communications Day is traditionally published on Jan 24, in conjunction with the memorial of St. Francis de Sales, patron of writers.

 

‘Her language and gestures must transmit mercy’

In paragraph 12 of the Bull of Indiction of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, Pope Francis sets the tone for World Communications Day.

The church is commissioned to announce the mercy of God, the beating heart of the Gospel, which in its own way must penetrate the heart and mind of every person. The Spouse of Christ must pattern her behavior after the Son of God who went out to everyone without exception. In the present day, as the Church is charged with the task of the new evangelization, the theme of mercy needs to be proposed again and again with new enthusiasm and renewed pastoral action. It is absolutely essential for the Church and for the credibility of her message that she herself live and testify to mercy. Her language and her gestures must transmit mercy, so as to touch the hearts of all people and inspire them once more to find the road that leads to the Father.

The Church’s first truth is the love of Christ. The Church makes herself a servant of this love and mediates it to all people: a love that forgives and expresses itself in the gift of oneself. Consequently, wherever the Church is present, the mercy of the Father must be evident. In our parishes, communities, associations and movements, in a word, wherever there are Christians, everyone should find an oasis of mercy.

Source: www.iubilaeummisericordiae.va/content/gdm/en/giubileo/bolla.html

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