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Pope, others urge media to promote truth, unity

By Muyiwa Adeyemi (Head, South West Bureau, Ado Ekiti) and Ijeoma Opara (Lagos)
18 May 2015   |   5:19 am
DISSEMINATED information should preach peace, truth and bring unity among all in the society, the Catholic Pontiff, Francis 1, has told journalists and news managers across the world.
Pope Francis arrives to celebrate a canonization ceremony of four new saints in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. (AP)

Pope Francis arrives to celebrate a canonization ceremony of four new saints in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. (AP)

DISSEMINATED information should preach peace, truth and bring unity among all in the society, the Catholic Pontiff, Francis 1, has told journalists and news managers across the world.

In his message yesterday to mark the 94th World Communications Day with the theme, “A privileged place of encounter with the gift of love,” Pope Francis said the media could help communication when they enable people share their stories, stay in contact with distant friends, thank others or seek forgiveness, as well as open doors for new encounters.

He noted that the family unit is an integral part of communication that helps a society grow. Similarly, the Catholic Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, Most Rev Felix Ajakaye, urged media practitioners in Nigeria to always promote peace and unity in order to sustain the country’s fledging society.

In his sermon yesterday at St. Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral, Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, to mark the Communication Day, he warned that the media could be used for evil.

The cleric said the theme of this year’s celebration was very appropriate considering the important role that effective communication plays in the family and the society at large. Describing the family as a “divine institution,” he noted that it is through the family that God’s gift of love is experienced.

Also, the Vicar General, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Msgr. Bernard Okodua, noted that good communication is about good neighbourliness, which one cannot have unless there is justice and respect for human rights.

“Communication becomes meaningless when few people are in charge of common wealth, oppress people until violence erupts and we start apportioning blames here and there,” he said.

“When we communicate in the right way, you have a message to give, even though we have the freedom to accept the message or not, but it is expected that a true child of God will listen to the message of salvation, not message of damnation.”

He stressed that anywhere there is corruption, selfishness, crave for wealth at all cost, such society is either lacking communication or has refused to be communicated with, adding that Christians should live their lives according to the principles of Jesus Christ and communicate the good message.