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04 From Network Community to Human Communities - Fr Anthony Charanghat

posted Nov 15, 2018, 10:36 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Dec 6, 2018, 11:43 AM ]
The theme for 2019 ‘From Network Communities to Human Communities’ is a development on the theme ‘The truth will set you free’ (Jn 8:32) for World Communications Day 2018 the Pope explained the difference between fake news and journalism for peace and how one can recognise the truth of statements from their fruit. Whether they provoke quarrels, foment division, encourage resignation; or whether they promote informed and mature reflection leading to constructive dialogue and fruitful results. 

In this message he had also invited all people to promote ‘a journalism of peace that is truthful and opposed to falsehoods, rhetorical slogans, and sensational headlines. A journalism created by people for people, one that is at the service of all, especially those who have no voice.’ 

He argued for less emphasis on breaking news than on exploring the underlying causes of conflicts, in order to promote a deeper understanding and contribute to their resolution by setting in place virtuous processes. A journalism that has to be committed to pointing out alternatives to the escalation of shouting matches and verbal violence. 

Continuing his reflection for this coming year, the Pope pleads for Christians to do more to make sure the media, especially social networks, are places of dialogue and respect for others, and human communities rather than highlight differences and increase divisions, said Paolo Ruffini the prefect of the Vatican communications office. 

On the same day when the theme chosen for the World Communications Day 2019 was released, Paolo Ruffini the Prefect of the Dicastery for Communications remarked, "The risk in our time is that of forming tribes instead of communities - tribes based on the exclusion of the other". We are members one of another: From network community to human communities. 

This Theme for the forthcoming World Communications Day is a call for "reflection on the current state and nature of relationships on the internet, starting from the idea of community as a network between people in their wholeness," the Vatican said. "The metaphor of the web as a community of solidarity implies the construction of an 'us' based on listening to the other, on dialogue and consequently on the responsible use of language." 

Affirming that Pope Francis wants people to use social media as a network, not a web, Ruffini told Vatican News that Social media can nourish ‘true, beautiful, solid relationships forming friendship, but it also can trigger enemy mechanism feeding hatred’. When this happens, there is no real relationship. He reiterated the caution given by the Holy Father that we should not allow the digital media to trap us but enable us to be free and make us instruments of freedom. 

He elaborated that the use of new digital platforms not only requires significant technological updates but also a willingness to accept that the attachment to the past may prove to be a dangerous temptation. He added that “Catholic journalists and news organisations must realise that only by shutting down the noise of the world and our own gossip will it be possible to listen, which remains the first condition of every communication." 

The Pope warned that particularly in today's world of new media technologies, the speed of information surpasses our capacity of reflection; church members are exposed to the impact and influence of a culture of haste and superficiality and risk reducing the Church's mission of effective evangelisation. 

Sharing the Gospel with people at the peripheries might not even require stepping outside the door through encounters in our world of digital revolution. In an age when technology is ever-evolving, Pope Francis urged that Catholic news organisations must be willing to adapt to effectively proclaim the Gospel to all. 

Collated and adapted from CNS and EWTN