NewsChurch & Religion“Come and see”: the method for every authentic human communication

“Come and see”: the method for every authentic human communication

(Vatican News / The Tablet). The message was released Jan. 23, the eve of the feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of journalists. At the Vatican and in most countries, World Communications Day will be celebrated May 16.

Pope Francis chose “‘Come and See’ — Communicating by Encountering People as They Are” as the theme for the 2021 celebration, explaining that “Come and see” is the invitation Jesus gave to his first disciples and the invitation they gave to others as faith in Jesus spread. “Come and see” is the way by which the Christian faith is communicated.

“The call to ‘come and see’… is the method for every authentic human communication,” says Pope Francis in his Message for the 55th World Communications Day.

This theme recalls the Gospel account of the first disciples’ initial encounters with Jesus, who invited them to “Come and see,” to enter into relationship with Him. Later, one of those disciples, St Philip, speaking to his friend Nathaniel, invited him to “Come and see” the Messiah whom he had found.

The pontiff paid homage to journalists who have risked their lives going into the field to cover, verify and share stories the world needed to know, especially “about the hardships endured by persecuted minorities in various parts of the world, numerous cases of oppression and injustice inflicted on the poor and on the environment, and many wars that otherwise would be overlooked.”

Pope Francis also notes the importance of modern means of communication, especially the internet. But he also railed against those who report or share information that has not been verified and that has no basis in fact.

Without real, honest reporting, he said, media cannot help people understand the truth of what is happening in the world and in the lives of other people.

Television, newspapers, radio, the internet and social media can make people feel connected, he said, but “we remain mere spectators” if they don’t also allow people to encounter others and hear their stories.

“In communications, nothing can ever completely replace seeing things in person,” he said. “We do not communicate merely with words, but with our eyes, the tone of our voice and our gestures.”

Interaction and dialogue are essential to real communication, Pope Francis said. He quoted William Shakespeare, who described someone who “speaks an infinite deal of nothing.”


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