by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
(June 20, 2008) Even though Catholic radio broadcasters often feel as if their message is lost amidst the competition of more powerful media, Pope Benedict XVI called these networks a “small but real echo” that helps the world open to the civilization of love.
Speaking to a symposium on “The Identity and Mission of Catholic Radio Today,” Pope Benedict encouraged more than 100 broadcasters from 50 countries in their mission.
“The words which you transmit reach countless people, some of whom are alone and for whom your word comes as a consoling gift, some of whom are curious and are intrigued by what they hear, some of whom never attend church because they belong to different religions or to no religion at all, and others still who have never heard the name of Jesus Christ, yet through your service first come to hear the words of salvation. This work of patient sowing, carried on day after day, hour after hour, is your way of co-operating in the apostolic mission.”
He compared the humble work of Catholic radio to that of the Incarnation. “The words that you broadcast each day are an echo of that eternal Word which became flesh. … The Incarnation took place in a distant village, far away from the noisy imperial cities of antiquity. Today, even though you make use of modern communication technologies, the words which you broadcast are also humble, and sometimes it may seem to you that they are completely lost amidst the competition of other noisy and more powerful mass media. But do not be disheartened!”
Radio, like all modern forms of communication, is a gift from God that should be used to help individuals and humankind, he said.
“ . . . Radio, through which you exercise your apostolate, brings words and music to people in order to inform and to entertain, to announce and to denounce, but always respecting the truth and with the clear aim of educating in truth and hope.”
Because of its association with the Word, Catholic radio participates in the mission and visibility of the Church, and also creates “a new way of living, of being, and of making the Church,” he said.
“What exhilarating prospects your commitment and your work open up!” the Holy Father exclaimed.
“Even now, your networks can be a small but real echo in the world of the network of friendship that the presence of the risen Christ, the God-with-us, inaugurated between heaven and earth and among mankind of all continents and epochs. In this way your work will become a full part of the mission of the Church, which I invite you to love deeply. By helping the heart of each person to open to Christ, you will help the world to open to hope and to that civilisation of truth and love which is the most eloquent result of His presence among us.”
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