The World Day of Social Communications is the only World Day established by the Second Vatican Council. In 1963 the Council issued the Decree on the tools of social communication, Inter mirifica, which included the proposal that the Church celebrate a day dedicated to social communications. The first World Communications Day was observed on 7 May 1967, under the pontificate of Saint Pope Paul VI, who drew attention to the communications media and its enormous potential for cultural transformation. Whilst the text of the World Communications Day message is published each year on 24 January, the Feast of Saint Francis de Sales, the patron saint of journalists and editors, WCD is celebrated annually on the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, which in 2020 falls on Sunday 29 May.
Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh welcomed Pope Francis’ 57th World Communications Day message on the theme Speak with the heart: Veritatem facientes in caritate (Doing the truth in charity), which was published yesterday, on the feast day of Saint Francis de Sales, the patron of journalists, editors and writers.
Commenting on the message, Archbishop Eamon said, “In his message, Pope Francis invites all of us optimise our emotional intelligence when we deal with others, and in particular when we are undertaking difficult conversations. The Holy Father guides that, from the outset, if we wish ‘to communicate truth with charity, it is necessary to purify one’s heart … This ‘call to speak with the heart radically challenges the times in which we are living, which are so inclined towards indifference and indignation, at times even on the basis of disinformation which falsifies and exploits the truth.’”
Archbishop Eamon concluded, “The Pope’s World Communications Day message is therefore relevant to every one of us and, as we go forward together on our Synodal journey, I invite people of goodwill from across Ireland to read and reflect on the Holy Father’s words which have been spoken from the heart.”
To read this year’s World Communications Day Message and Archbishop Martin’s statement in full, click here.