Like the Good Samaritan, who stopped on the road to help a person in need, travellers along today’s communication highways should offer support to those they encounter there, Pope Francis said.
“The digital world can be an environment rich in humanity; a network not of wires but of people,” he said in his message for World Communications Day.
Modern means of communication, especially the Internet, offered “immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity”, he said.
Because of that, he said, the Internet was “a gift from God”.
“Communication at the service of an authentic culture of encounter” is the theme of this year’s World Communications Day, which most dioceses will mark on June 1, the Sunday before Pentecost.
The message, was dated January 24, the feast of St Francis de Sales, the patron saint of journalists.
“Good communication helps us grow closer, to know one another better, and ultimately to grow in unity,” he said.
“The walls which divide us can be broken down only if we are prepared to listen and learn from one another.
“A culture of encounter demands that we be ready not only to give, but also to receive.”
Good communicators must take the time necessary to listen to others and, more than just tolerate, truly accept them, he said.
“Engaging in dialogue does not mean renouncing our own ideas and traditions, but the claim that they alone are valid or absolute,” the Pope said in his message.