The Vatican

Pope Francis calls to communicate "without hatred and distortion" on the web 

On the occasion of the Festival of the Social Doctrine of the Church, which took place in Verona (Italy) this weekend, with the theme #soci@lmente libres", Pope Francis encouraged the laity to live freedom in social networks and promote initiatives for the common good. Communicate inspired by love, and avoid messages of hatred and distortion of reality.

Francisco Otamendi-November 28, 2023-Reading time: 3 minutes

Photo by Adem AY on Unsplash

The Pope sent to the 13th edition of the Festival of the Social Doctrine of the Church in Verona, which took place this weekend with the hashtag "#soci@lmente libres," a Message of support and guidance. Because "if mission is a grace that involves the whole Church, the lay faithful make a vital contribution to carrying it out in all environments and in the most ordinary daily situations," the Pope pointed out to them.

The message of His Holiness emphasizes that "professionals, entrepreneurs, teachers and lay people represent one of the convergences expressed in the Synthesis Report of the First Session of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (October 4-29, 2023)". 

"The lay faithful are above all those who make the Church present and proclaim the Gospel in the culture of the digital environment," the Pontiff stressed. A digital world that "has such a strong impact on the whole world, on youth cultures, on the world of work, the economy and politics, the arts and culture, scientific research, education and training, on the care of the common home and, in a special way, on participation in public life".

The topic of discussion This year's theme was "#soci@lmente libres", which recalls "some highly topical issues, especially for the digital culture that influences relations between people and, consequently, society".

Jesus is interested in the whole person

The network we want is not made "to trap, but to liberate, to house a communion of free people," the Pontiff pointed out.

"Jesus' communication is true because it is inspired by love for those who listen to him, sometimes even distractedly. In fact, the teaching is followed by the gift of bread and the companion: Jesus is interested in the whole person, that is, the whole person, Jesus, as is evident, is not a solitary leader," he added.

In this tension and in this surrender, personal and communitarian freedom is expressed. "Faced with the speed of information, which provokes relational voracity, the amen is a kind of provocation to go beyond cultural flattening to give fullness to language, with respect for each person."

At that time, Francis encouraged the avoidance of hatred on social networks: "Let no one be the promoter of wasteful communication through the dissemination of messages of hatred and distortion of reality on the web. Communication reaches its fullness in the total donation of oneself to the other person. The relationship of reciprocity develops the network of freedom".

Cardinal Zuppi: to be at the side of the person

At the closing ceremony, Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, Archbishop of Bologna and President of the Italian Bishops' Conference, underscored the Pope's message, saying that "the Social Doctrine of the Church does not belong to one part" of society. "It always stands at the side of the person, whoever he or she may be."

In 2024, Pope Francis will visit the city of Verona, as announced by its bishop, Bishop Domenico Pompili. Francis sees us as "a land at the crossroads of peoples, of dialogue in which confrontation can flourish and, especially in these difficult times, peace," the official Vatican agency reported.

This is the same idea emphasized by the Holy Father Francis when he received in audience the members of the Pontifical Foundation Centesimus Annus, dedicated to promoting the Social Doctrine of the Church, which is 30 years old in 2023, following its creation by St. John Paul II in 1993.
At the beginning of June, Francis reminded them of the origins of the foundation: the encyclical of the holy Polish Pope written for the 100th anniversary of the foundation. Rerum novarum of Pope Leo XIII: "Your commitment has been placed precisely on this path, in this 'tradition': (...) to study and spread the Social Doctrine of the Church, trying to show that it is not only theory, but that it can become a virtuous way of life with which to make societies worthy of man grow".

Centesimus Annus Foundation: the person in the company

In the middle of last year, Anna Maria Tarantola, president of the Centesimus Annus Foundation, also insisted that "inclusion and efficiency are not antithetical, but complementary". meeting held at the "Palazzo della Rovere", headquarters of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre in Rome, organized by the Rome Reports agency, the Roman Academic Center Foundation (CARF) and Omnes, sponsored by Caixabank.

Anna Maria Tarantola recalled Pope Francis in his encyclical "Fratelli tutti", referring to entrepreneurial activity. "The activity of entrepreneurs effectively "is a noble vocation aimed at producing wealth and improving the world for everyone. In its designs each person is called to promote his own development, and this includes the implementation of economic and technological capabilities to grow goods and increase wealth. However, in any case, these abilities of entrepreneurs, which are a gift from God, must be clearly oriented towards the progress of other people and the overcoming of poverty, especially through the creation of diversified job opportunities" (Fratelli tutti, 123).

The authorFrancisco Otamendi

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