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Communication and the Culture of Encounter

Communication and the Culture of Encounter

Since May 1, 1967 to the present Sunday preceding Pentecost, the first Message on “The Means of Social Communication” promulgated by Paul VI, many World Communications Days have been celebrated. From the Messages we get a cross-section of the Church’s thinking on communication, an authoritative basis for further analysis.

The theme of the 2014 presentation seems to be a reflection on the life of Pope Francis, which presents communication as a true service of the culture of encounter. The theme touches us closely during this preparation phase for CGXXIII, which makes the report the foundation for a home that evangelizes.

“Communication is a more human conquest than technology” observes the Pope. “I like to define this power of communication as proximity. How is this closeness manifested in the use of the means of communication and in the new environment created by digital technologies? I find an answer in the parable of the Good Samaritan, which is also a parable of the communicator. Whoever communicates, becomes close to another person” The Holy Father notes that the media has the power to make us feel closer to others, and it allows us to grasp the sense of unity of the human family in solidarity and the commitment to a more dignified life.

The cultures of encounter and communication are interchangeable because “communicating well helps us to be closer and to get to know one another better, to be more united.” The walls that divide us can be overcome only if we are ready to listen to one another and to learn from one another”, ready not only to give, but also to receive.

Pope Francis also proposes the icon of the disciples of Emmaus: we, too, are called to take part in the dialogue with the men and women of today, to share expectations, doubts, and hopes, andto offer the Good News that is Jesus. “The challenge requires depth, attention to life, spiritual sensitivity. Dialoguing means being convinced that the other person has something of value to communicate, making space for his/her point of view, and proposals. Dialoguing does not mean renouncing one’s own ideas and traditions, but the pretence that they are unique and absolute.

Finally, the Pope hopes that “our communication may be like perfumed oil for pain, and good wine for cheerfulness”, and that our brightness “does not come from tricks or special effects, but from becoming close with love and tenderness to the wounded whom we meet along the way.

For this reason he exhorts us not to be afraid to become citizens of the digital environment.

gteruggi@cgfma.org

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