The Media Must Promote Dignity of the Person

The Pope appeared at the window of his study overlooking St. Peter's Square to greet pilgrims gathered below and pray the Regina Coeli with them.

In his remarks the Pope recalled his recent apostolic trip to Brazil, which is due to be the subject of his next general audience on Wednesday, and he invited all the faithful to continue to pray for the Fifth General Conference of the Episcopate of Latin America and the Caribbean currently being held in the Brazilian city of Aparecida, and for "the journey of all the People of God who live in South America."

Benedict XVI also referred to the annual celebration of the World Day of Social Communications, the theme of which this year is "Children and the Media, a challenge for education." He said: "The educational challenges in the modern world are often linked to the influence of the mass media, which compete with school, Church and even the family.

"In such a context," he added, "appropriate training in the correct use of the media is essential. Parents, teachers, and the ecclesial community are called to work together to educate children and young people to be selective and to develop critical attitudes, cultivating a taste for what is aesthetically and morally valid. But the media must make their own contribution to this educational commitment, promoting the dignity of the human being, marriage and the family, the triumphs and achievements of civilization.

"Programs that inculcate violence and anti-social behavior, or that vulgarize human sexuality, are unacceptable, and even more so when directed at children. Therefore, I renew my appeal to leaders of the media industry and to those who work in social communications, to safeguard the common good, respect the truth and protect the dignity of the person and of the family."

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