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Pope: New Media Must Touch People's Hearts
By
Carol Glatz
Source: Catholic News Service
Published: Thursday, June 03, 2010
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VATICAN CITY (CNS)—If Catholic communicators are to use new media effectively, they must use it in ways that touch people's hearts and draw them to living faith communities, Pope Benedict XVI said in a long-distance greeting to people gathered for a media convention in New Orleans.

During his general audience in St. Peter's Square June 2, the pope read his message to those attending the Catholic Media Convention June 2-4. The convention is an annual joint gathering of the Catholic Press Association and the Catholic Academy for Communication Arts Professionals.

The 2010 meeting focused on the theme "Spreading the Good News—Byte by Byte," which "highlights the extraordinary potential of the new media to bring the message of Christ and the teaching of his church to the attention of a wider public," the pope said.

"If your mission is to be truly effective—if the words you proclaim are to touch hearts, engage people's freedom and change their lives—you must draw them into an encounter with persons and communities who witness to the grace of Christ by their faith and their lives," he said.

The pope said he hoped conference participants would come away with renewed enthusiasm for the Gospel.

Before imparting his apostolic blessing to the media professionals, the pope said that despite the many challenges facing Catholic communicators today, "never forget the promise of Christ, 'I am with you always, to the close of the age.'"

Near the end of the audience, as the pope was greeting pilgrim groups in different languages, nine Italian military planes flew in formation over St. Peter's Basilica and left bright red, white and green smoke in their wake.

The air force team, known as the "Frecce Tricolore" ("Tricolor Arrows"), made a special pass over the Vatican in homage to the pope, according to Vatican Radio. The pope waved and smiled as he looked overhead.

The planes were performing nearby as part of a national celebration of the holiday marking the birth of the Italian republic in 1946.

During his main audience talk, the pope focused on St. Thomas Aquinas, whose life and writings "have always been revered as an outstanding model for theologians."

At a time when it was thought that "faith should surrender itself before reason," St. Thomas believed there was a natural harmony between faith and reason, the pope said.
The saint "created a new synthesis" between faith and reason, which influenced cultures for centuries afterward; he taught that faith that is opposed to rationality was not true faith, and that reason that was not compatible with faith was not real reason.

During the audience, Pope Benedict also asked for prayers for his trip to Cyprus June 4-6. He said he hoped the visit would bear much "spiritual fruit for the dear Christian communities in the Middle East."
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Editor's Note: The text of the pope's audience remarks in English will be posted online at: www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/audiences/2010/documents/hf_ben-xvi_aud_20100602_en.html


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