Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 9, 2008
Highlight the positive message, says Vatican spokesman
By DEBORAH GYAPONG
"Deep in the hearts of many people, there is the hope for something good."
- Fr. Federico Lombardi
"We have to know how to recognize and denounce the evils, the risks and the dead ends present in contemporary culture," he said.
"Deep in the hearts of many people, there is the hope for something good," Lombardi said.
He noted how, after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, television stations approached him, asking for pictures of Pope John Paul II at prayer while Europe observed a minute of silence to honour the victims.
He arranged for pictures of the pope praying in silence at the papal villa in Castel Gandolfo, south of Rome, and those photos were transmitted worldwide.
Lombardi said Pope Benedict echoed this image when he prayed at ground zero in Manhattan during his April trip to the United States. He described this as "one of the most intense and evocative moments of the time spent in America."
He said the death of Pope John Paul provided "the greatest media event in the history of social communications."
Lombardi recalled that during his long association with Pope John Paul, he was deeply struck by the pope's prophetic vision of television's possibilities.
Lombardi said that, until he watched the pope, he had seen TV as a "source of various problems and evils."
Pope John Paul saw "beyond what things are" to what they should be, he said.
Lombardi urged members of the Catholic media to confront difficult problems and tell the truth. He gave as an example the way the pope addressed the clerical abuse crisis when he visited the United States. Not only did Pope Benedict speak candidly about the evils of the abuse, but he made his words even more credible by his private, respectful meeting with some victims, he said.
"Every ambiguity, every reticence and, worse still, every intentional concealment of the truth will exact a dear price in the end," he said.
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