Tag Archives: 2017-12

Christmas Midnight Masses draw overflowing crowds

Archbishop Wong and Father Liew pause in prayer after the rite of blessing of the nativity scene, 24 Dec 2017, Sacred Heart Parish Centre foyer Karamunsing.

KOTA KINABALU – The Christmas Midnight Mass is one of two times in the year when overflowing crowds are seen in churches across the archdiocese.  The Sacred Heart Cathedral here has two Masses on Christmas Eve in order to accommodate the faithful: 6 pm BM Mass and 9:30 pm English Mass.  The overflowing crowds were accommodated on the square and at the parish centre.

The English Mass on 24 Dec 2017 was preceded by a cantata performed by the Sacred Heart Cathedral English Choir and Friends themed Our Lord Emmanuel Has Come under the direction of choirmaster Frederick Wong and organist Nicholas Lee.

The term ‘cantata,’ invented in Italy in the 17th century, refers to a piece of music written for voice or voices and instruments. It applies broadly to works for solo voice, multiple soloists, vocal ensemble, and with instrumental accompaniment of keyboard or instrumental ensemble. It can be a single movement work or consist of multiple movements, and the text can be either sacred or secular.

Archbishop John Wong presided at the Mass, concelebrated with Father Joshua Liew.

In his homily, he stressed that Christmas is actually about “our identity as sons and daughters of God in Jesus.”

The rite of blessing of the manger was done after the Mass. After the final blessing the clergy and faithful processed to the foyer of the parish centre for the blessing.

After a short prayer, the prelate blessed the manger with holy water and incensed it.  At the end of the blessing, he greeted all those present a blessed Christmas.

This year’s nativity scene was done by the Light of Jesus Christ Covenant Community (LJCCC).  The life-size statues were shipped from Vietnam last year.

Defying Trump, over 120 countries at UN condemn Jerusalem decision

UNITED NATIONS – More than 120 countries defied President Donald Trump on Thursday [21 Dec 2017] and voted in favour of a United Nations General Assembly resolution calling for the United States to drop its recent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Trump had threatened to cut off financial aid to countries that voted in favour. A total of 128 countries backed the resolution, which is non-binding, nine voted against and 35 abstained. Twenty-one countries did not cast a vote.

Trump’s threat appeared to have some impact, with more countries abstaining and rejecting the resolution than usually associated with Palestinian-related resolutions.

Nevertheless, Washington found itself isolated as many of its Western and Arab allies voted for the measure. Some of those allies, like Egypt, Jordan and Iraq, are major recipients of US military or economic aid, although the US threat to cut aid did not single out any country.

A spokesman for Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called the vote “a victory for Palestine.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the vote.

Earlier this month, Trump reversed decades of US policy by announcing the United States recognised Jerusalem – home to major Muslim, Jewish and Christian holy sites – as the capital of Israel and would move its embassy there.

“The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in the General Assembly for the very act of exercising our right as a sovereign nation,” US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the 193-member General Assembly ahead of Thursday’s vote.

“We will remember it when we are called upon to once again make the world’s largest contribution to the United Nations, and so many countries come calling on us, as they so often do, to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit,” she said.

Later on Thursday, Haley asked the 64 countries who voted no, abstained or did not cast a vote to come to a Jan 3 reception “to thank you for your friendship to the United States,” according to the invitation seen by Reuters.

 The status of Jerusalem is one of the thorniest obstacles to a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, who were furious over Trump’s move. The international community does not recognise Israeli sovereignty over the full city.

French UN Ambassador Francois Delattre said in a statement: “The resolution adopted today only confirms relevant international law provisions on Jerusalem.” France voted in favour.


Netanyahu described the resolution as “preposterous.” “Jerusalem is our capital, always was, always will be. But I do appreciate the fact that a growing number of countries refuse to participate in this theatre of the absurd,” he said in a video on his Facebook page.

Israel captured East Jerusalem in a 1967 war and Palestinians want it as the capital of a future state they seek.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a tweet the vote was a clear international rejection of the Trump administration’s “thuggish intimidation.”

Among countries that abstained were Argentina, Australia, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Mexico, Philippines, Poland, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda.

Guatemala, Honduras, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Togo joined the United States and Israel in voting no.

Honduras’ vote against the motion comes after the United States signaled it would recognize President Juan Orlando Hernandez as the winner of an election the Organization of America States said should be scrapped over fraud claims.

Since Trump’s election, Mexico has aligned its foreign policy more closely with Washington in what diplomats say is an attempt to curry favour in face of threats to withdraw from the NAFTA free trade agreement.

Trump’s rhetoric on cutting aid startled some US allies but State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Thursday’s vote was just one factor that Washington would take into consideration in its foreign policy.

“I just wanted to reiterate what the president had said yesterday and that that was the UN vote is really not the only factor that the administration would take into consideration in dealing with our foreign relations and countries who have chosen to vote one way or the other,” she told reporters.

According to figures from the US government’s aid agency USAID, in 2016 the United States provided some $13 billion in economic and military assistance to countries in sub-Saharan Africa and $1.6 billion to states in East Asia and Oceania.

It provided some $13 billion to countries in the Middle East and North Africa, $6.7 billion to countries in South and Central Asia, $1.5 billion to states in Europe and Eurasia and $2.2 billion to Western Hemisphere countries, according to USAID. – michelle nicols, Reuters

The New Wave auteur who believed great cinema had to be Christian

Felicie (Charlotte Very) in A Tale of Winter

Eric Rohmer, a devout Catholic, saw film as a ’20th-century cathedral’. He made a sublime Christmas movie, too.

While thrilling art-house audiences with his urbane, witty films, Éric Rohmer attended Mass each Sunday at the Church of St Medard, subscribed to the royalist weekly La Nation française, and kept up his membership in the Louisquatorziens, a group devoted to the genius of the Sun King.

Publicly, he was one of the leading directors of the French New Wave. In private, he was a Catholic of the old type: loyal to pope and king. As his peers scuttled from one fashionable cause to the next, he admirably refused all political engagement, lapsing only in 1974, when he joined an anti-automobile group called Les Droits du Piéton, and in 2002, when he supported Pierre Rabhi, the Green presidential candidate whose slogan was “Growth is not a solution, it is a problem”. (Rohmer, no leftist, correctly saw that the Greens had come to echo his own aristocratic and reactionary ideals. He asked: “Doesn’t progress often consist in moving backward?”)

Rohmer despised the kind of “engaged” art that indulges in pamphleteering. Rather than trumpet his religious convictions, he used them to construct a unique approach to film-making. Used rightly, he believed a camera could capture the movements of both body and soul. “Be an atheist and the camera will offer you the spectacle of a world without God in which there is no law other than the pure mechanism of cause and effect,” he said. But the greatest film-makers did more:

I am a Catholic. I believe that true cinema is necessarily a Christian cinema, because there is no truth except in Christianity. I believe in the genius of Christianity, and there is not a single great film in the history of cinema that is not infused with the light of the Christian idea. A mystical cinema? Yes, if it is true that a clear grasp of immanence leads to transcendence.

Rohmer believed that by showing us the singular being of real things, their absolute and irreducible givenness, film could point beyond our everyday reality to the God who is the source and ground of all our being. In this sense, all of Rohmer’s films are religious. But on a few occasions, he expressed his beliefs more explicitly: My Night at Maud’s, Perceval and (above all) the Christmas movie A Tale of Winter, which may be his best film.

It begins with two lovers frolicking by the seaside. When summer ends, Félicie (Charlotte Véry) goes home to Paris, and Charles (Frédéric van den Driessche) promises to write to her. Only one problem: she gives him the wrong address, and they have no other way of finding each other.

Five years later, Félicie has given birth to Charles’s daughter and still hopes he will appear. While she waits, she moves in and out of other men’s houses. But she places a photo of her lost love where her daughter sleeps, because “A child should know what her father’s like.”

Félicie is constantly chided by other characters who think her dim, but this statement is profound. It expresses the desire we all feel to know not only our human fathers, but also our Father above. Christmas responds to this profound desire, since it is the moment when God manifests himself to those who have awaited his advent in faith.

And Félicie is a model of faithful expectation. Though she is not a Christian and lacks Christianity’s sexual ethic, she resolutely refuses to tie herself to any man but the one she loves. One of her beaux, a sceptical, intellectual Catholic named Loïc (Hervé Furic), takes her to a performance of Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale. He warns her that “It’s pretty far-fetched … Lots of fantastic things happen. People who were thought dead, exiles who reappear resurrected.”

At the play’s most fantastical moment, when the onlookers are told “It is required / you do awake your faith” and a statue of a bitterly missed person comes to life, Félicie cries. She sees how faith can bring life to death, reunion to separation. She sees and believes.

I will not spoil the film by saying what happens next, but in this moment Rohmer gives us more than a hint about his own art. He believed that cinema could awaken faith by showing the divine in flesh. He expressed this belief in various ways at various points, stating that “Christianity is consubstantial with the cinema,” that film is the “20th-century cathedral” and that “the very essence of cinema” was “that world beyond”.

Whatever his phrasing, Rohmer’s point was always the same: film shows that we are embodied souls, and at its most sublime points to the God who took on flesh. It lets us come to know our Father. If this is true, there is something particularly fitting in celebrating the season by watching a Christmas movie. A Tale of Winter is one of the best. – matthew schmitz, catholic herald, 22 Dec 2017

Matthew Schmitz is senior editor of First Things and a Robert Novak Journalism Fellow

90 pastoral workers attend annual pre-Christmas gathering

A section of the pastoral workers at the annual pre-Christmas gathering, 23 Dec 2017, Catholic Archdiocesan Centre Penampang.

PENAMPANG – Around 90 pastoral workers of Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese attended the annual pre-Christmas gathering at the Catholic Archdiocesan Centre (CAC) here on 23 Dec 2017.

The workers came from the CAC, Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish Office Karamunsing, Church of Mary Immaculate Bukit Padang, and St Paul Dontozidon.

In attendance also were Archbishop John Wong, Archbishop Emeritus John Lee, Father Paul Lo, Father Joshua Liew, Father Max Hontor, Father Charles Chiew of Keningau.

Activities included carol singing by groups (8 groups), a Christmas skit, a sharing based on the theme Agape  (or unconditional love) by Anne Lasimbang, exchange of gifts, a reflection on the theme by Abp Wong, cake-cutting by the clergy, and lunch.

The objective of the gathering is for the workers to get to know each other and to have fellowship together twice a year – Christmas and Easter.

Keningau prelate says Christmas is God’s love expression to humanity

In his Christmas message published in Catholic Sabah (17.12.2017), Keningau prelate Bishop Cornelius Piong says that Christmas is God’s love expression to humanity.  Below is the full text:

The mood of Christmas celebration is always felt at the end of each year. There are always Christmas songs, Christmas sales, Christmas feasting and many others. However, what actually is Christmas?  We, the faithful, are easily attracted and influenced by external signs of Christmas until we forget about the spirit and true purpose of Christmas.

The birth of Jesus, God’s only Son, that we celebrate on Christmas is, in fact, God’s love expression to us, human beings. God who is always communicating with us has finally sent His Son Jesus as a channel of communication and of His love with us (Heb 1:1-2, John 3:16).

Since the birth of Jesus in this world, we are able to experience God’s presence, communication and love relationship; and this brings hope and meaning to our lives. Celebrating Christmas based on worldly influences and parties (semangat ramai-ramai), surely will not bring in or leave any good and useful impact when we take up our daily life challenges.

The Church hopes that during Advent, we will be in silence and use it for reflection so that we will be able to celebrate Christmas with the true purpose as intended by God, that is to develop His communication and relationship with humanity for eternity.

While facing our daily life challenges, we are grateful because Jesus Himself has promised to be with us until the end of time (Mat 28:20). In facing life challenges as an individual, which involves family, community and the society, Jesus always invites us to go to Him, to listen and to do His words. (Mt 11:28, Lk 6:47-48).

As members of the Church, we need to be alert and careful while facing challenges within our family, community and society as a whole.

  • Nowadays, are the heavy and many challenges faced by our families the determinants of our future, world, country and the church?
  • With strong and attractive influence of mass media and electronic media nowadays, as faithful, can we (parents, youth, children) own the gadgets without being a slave to it?
  • What about God’s creation which is dwindling down in quality for the sake of development and success? We can see happening nowadays, apathy and disrespect of God’s creation, which cause floods, landslides, and numerous other natural disasters.
  • In carrying out leadership duties and service, are we able to lead and serve in accordance with Jesus’ ways and teaching? (Mt 20:28). In the coming GE14, as citizens and politicians, are we able to fight for love, justice and peace for the well being and prosperity of our multi-cultural society? Or is it merely leadership and service for self, for own race and own religion only?

Brothers and sisters, Christmas is an opportunity for us to realise that Jesus is ‘Emmanuel,’ God is with us (Mt 1:23). Jesus came to the world to enlighten humanity (John 1:9). Jesus who came is the source of wisdom (Mt.13:54; Lk. 2:52), which is needed by human beings to live together in truth, prosperity, and joy (Rom 14:17).

May Christmas 2017 be an opportunity for us to improve our knowledge of, love of and service to Jesus, because He is our only source of hope, peace and mercy in this challenging journey of life.

Blessed Christmas 2017 and a Happy New Year 2018.

Vatican official discusses net neutrality, artificial intelligence

VATICAN CITY – In a front-page article in L’Osservatore Romano, the priest who serves as a Vatican representative on an ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) committee discussed net neutrality, the Catholic World News posted on its news portal on 20 Dec 2017.

Describing the Federal Communication commission’s repeal of net neutrality as “epochal,” Msgr Carlo Maria Polvani summarised the arguments of proponents and opponents. At the heart of debate, he said, are two questions: “To what extent should the network be treated as an essential good—an indispensable utility—whose access should be guaranteed?” and “To what extent should the network be considered a place of absolute liberty—an open internet free of any data discrimination—whose goal is the widest possible access to the largest variety of information imaginable?”

Msgr Polvani, an official of the Vatican Secretariat of State and a member of Pope Francis’s 2014 advisory committee on reforming Vatican media, then discussed a new 80-page French government report on big data, algorithms, and artificial intelligence.

“We are all already subjected to continuous profiling based on the relationship between socio-economic-demographic categories that are decided today by specialised programmers and tomorrow by artificial intelligences,” said Msgr Polvani, who highlighted the report’s recommendation that artificial intelligence be subjected to ethical principles. – CWN


Fr James Martin explains what can get lost in translating Scripture

Worshippers recite the Lord’s Prayer during Mass at Corpus Christi Church in Mineola, New York, on 13 Oct 2017. (CNS photo/Gregory A Shemitz, Long Island Catholic)

Pope Francis inadvertently initiated one of the internet kerfuffles he has become famous for earlier this week. During a television interview, he suggested that the Italian church consider tinkering with its translation of the Our Father. The interweb quickly heated up with protests that the pope was trying to rewrite the prayer before cooler theological heads prevailed, pointing out that the pope’s corrective was simply aimed at bad translations, not an effort to put words in our Saviour’s mouth.

Making ancient Scripture sensible in contemporary languages—especially since passages and phrases from Scripture end up in Catholic liturgies—will likely always prove hazardous work. James Martin, SJ, editor-at-large here at America and author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage, says the pope’s efforts to encourage a better translation of the Our Father are a reminder that there are several other Scripture passages that have been seen as problematic in terms of translation.

“It’s important for people to know that Jesus spoke in Aramaic,” Father Martin says, “and maybe a little Hebrew.”

Making ancient Scripture sensible in contemporary languages will always prove a hazard-heavy challenge.

The disciples of Jesus passed on the stories of their experiences to the early church before Gospel writers of the first century began their work, employing the lingua franca of the era: Greek. That means there was already something of “a distance” from the words that Jesus actually spoke in Aramaic to his followers.

Those Greek passages were then open to a number of alternative interpretations and choices when they were translated into other languages “as any translations would be,” says Father Martin.

1. Entos hymōn: Within or among? Among the biggest continuing interpretive challenges, one focuses around a familiar phrase from Luke, “the kingdom of God is among you,” according to Father Martin.

The original Greek expression, entos hymōn, could be interpreted in two ways: The kingdom of God could be found “within you,” as if it were an “interior reality,” or “among you,” to suggest “the world you live in,” a spatial expression of the rule of God present among the community of the faithful on earth.

Were Gospel writers deliberately trying to be vague on the concept? Perhaps Jesus was? “These are the kinds of things translators have to look at,” says Father Martin.

Why is it important to get it right? Because, he explains, like the pope’s concern that the current translation of the Our Father might persuade some to believe that God could lead people into evil, these subtle differences in translations can have significant effects in how we understand the faith and live our lives.

“If it’s ‘within,’” says Father Martin, “you have to worry less about the outside world.” But if the kingdom is “among us,” then the kingdom is here, “already but not yet,” he says, using a construct familiar to New Testament scholars.

The expression “kingdom of God” itself has been the source of interpretive disagreement, Father Martin says. Is “kingdom,” in Greek basileia, meant to denote a geographical reality or is it meant to suggest “more of a dynamic reality”?

Father Martin wonders if the use of blessed “tamps down the joy” of the Beatitudes.

2. Anthrōpos: Fishing for the best translation Another major “lost in translation” moment begins in Matthew when Jesus first calls the disciples to follow him, rendered in the New American Bible, Revised Edition, as: “‘Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.’” Father Martin points out that the original Greek texts use a form of the word anthrōpos, a gender-neutral term that should be read not “fishers of men,” but “fishers of people.”

“That’s more inclusive,” Father Martin concludes, “and most New Testament scholars would say it’s more accurate.”

3. Makarios: Blessed or happy? In the Beatitudes, many Scripture translations use the expression “Blessed are the poor in spirit,” but did Jesus actually say something closer to “Happy are the poor in spirit”?

Were the people who were the object of the Beatitudes—the meek, the merciful, the poor in spirit, the pure of heart and the rest—blessed, from the Greek, makarios, “like the saints?” Father Martin asks. Or “were they ‘happy?’” another possible take on the original Greek. “If you choose ‘happy’ the Beatitudes take on a whole different meaning,” he says.

Father Martin wonders if the use of blessed “tamps down the joy” of the passage in Matthew: “At the end, Jesus says, ‘Rejoice and be glad,’ so it’s probably more likely that he meant ‘happy.’”

“The choices of the translator influence how we think and what we believe,” Father Martin says. And for Catholics the nuances of ever-evolving translations of Scripture and how Scripture is reflected during Mass and in prayer is of essential importance. “Lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi,” says Father Martin.

How we pray affects what we believe, “and how we live.” – kevin clarke, americamagazine.org, 15 Dec 2017

AsiaNews founder Fr Piero Gheddo dies at 89

MILAN – AsiaNews founder, Father Piero Gheddo, 89, died on 20 Dec 2017 at the Ambrosiana Nursing Home, Cesano Boscone, near here.

Born in 1929 in Tronzano Vercellese Italy, he entered the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) in 1945 and was ordained priest in 1953.

Internationally recognised as ‘the missionary of print media,’  Fr Gheddo worked all his life in the world of communications to spread the Gospel. In 1986 he founded AsiaNews, and continued to contribute to it when it went online.

His achievements include the founding of the Italian Missionary Publishing (Editrice Missionaria Italiana or EMI) in 1955, the co-founding of the Milan PIME Missionary Centre with Father Amelio Crotti and Father Giacomo Girardi in 1961; and the Mani tese (Extended Hands) in 1964.

He was editor of “World and Mission” (Mondo e Missione) 1959-1994 as well as of “Missionary Italy” (Italia Missionaria), and of “PIME Missionaries” (Missionari del Pime).

In 1962, as a journalist of the Osservatore Romano, he was chosen by Giovanni XXIII as an expert to draft the conciliar decree Ad Gentes. In the 1990s, John Paul II chose him to author the encyclical Redemptoris Missio.

Fr Gheddo wrote over 90 books, 30 of which were translated, and received several journalistic awards.

His books on his parents, Il testament del capitano (The Captain’s Testament) with the letters of Pope John from the war in Russia (San Paolo, 2002) and Questi santi genitori (These Holy Parents) (San Paolo, 2005) have become best sellers.

From 1994 to 2010 he was director of the PIME Historical Archives in Rome, publishing several histories of PIME missions in the world, as well as biographies of some members of the institute.


For years, he contributed to Italian state television (RAI) explaining the Sunday gospel. On Rai radio, he contributed a brief morning message (Il Vangelo delle 7.18, The Gospel at 7.18 am). He also collaborated with Radio Maria and various lay publications like the magazine Gente and the newspaper Il Giornale when Indro Montanelli, whom he befriended, was the paper’s editor.


Deeply convinced that the world needs models and experiences, Fr Gheddo was a driving force behind the cause of beatification of a number PIME missionaries: Giovanni Mazzucconi, Paolo Manna, Clemente Vismara, Mario Vergara, and more recently, Alfredo Cremonesi.

He worked on documenting the actions of the servants of God Marcello Candia, Angelo Ramazzotti, Felice Tantardini, Carlo Salerio, Egidio Biffi as well as Leopoldo Pastori and Msgr Aristide Pirovano.


Starting in 2014, the ailing Fr Gheddo needed constant medical care. For this reason, he moved to the Ambrosiana nursing home in Cesano Boscone, in the diocese of Milan. Here he worked almost until the end, managing his blog and sending thoughts and reflections about the mission.  – Bernardo Cervellera, AsiaNews.it

Vatican launches new website

Screenshot of new VaticanNews website

ROME – The Holy See launched its new VaticanNews (www.vaticannews.va) website at precisely 4.42pm on Saturday, 16 Dec 2017,  in the latest step in the process of reforming Vatican communications.

Twenty IT specialists have worked tirelessly for several months on the project, which had been announced previously several times.

The launch date was chosen to coincide with the eve of the 81st birthday of Pope Francis, who launched the reform of Vatican communications in 2015.

“We should not confuse the reform process with the portal, which is just one aspect of it,” warns Mgr Dario Vigano, prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for Communications.

Mgr Vigano decided to launch the website in an effort to unify Vatican communications which were previously split into several brands and sometimes almost unreadable.

The new VaticanNews site is fluid and easy to navigate and is well integrated with social media including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

It makes extensive use of multimedia, particularly audio and video, the great strengths of the former Radio Vaticana and the Vatican Television Centre (CTV).

Currently, in a “beta” version, the site is operated by a single editorial team divided into six language groups (Italian, English, French, Spanish, German and Portuguese).

It also contains sections in the 33 other languages that Vatican Radio transmits in.

Another newly introduced brand, VaticanMedia, will aggregate the various services for media professionals (direct telecasts and radio broadcasts of papal celebrations, for example) while the Radio Vaticana brand will in the future be reserved for a digital radio station broadcasting in Italy and in FM in Rome.

However, the prestigious legacy of Radio Vaticana, which was founded in 1931 by Guglielmo Marconi, the inventor of the radio, is not yet over.

It will continue despite a series misunderstandings that occurred at the beginning of the reform programme between radio station personnel and the heads of Vatican Communications, who are more involved in communications than news.

“Everyone has taken time out to listen and analyse. Some understood the need for change while others insisted on the importance of radio media in certain countries such as France,” comments Jean-Charles Putzolu, a former editor for the French section of Vatican Radio, now a strategic service of the Secretariat for Communications.

Once threatened, the shortwave station will not be abolished but “redeployed” towards more disadvantaged countries. Thus, it will disappear in Europe where it has lost most of its audience but will continue it is transmitted on relay via 80 partner radio stations.

“At the same time, we are in contact with Facebook and Google who are working to improve internet connections in Africa,” says Putzolu.

Finally, while VaticanNews insists that it is a Vatican “communications” body rather than a news service, the general editorial line remains unchanged.

“There will be no change in the content of the three daily radio news broadcasts,” insists Hélène Destombes, head of the francophone section of the new portal, which aims “to speak to everyone” and “to be heard everywhere.”

While it evidently emphasises events and items involving the pope, VaticanNews will continue to provide an overview of local churches – with which the Secretariat for Communications intends to work more closely.

It will also include international news in an effort “to provide keys for understanding based on the Gospel.”

This is an important aspect at a time when world political and economic powers are investing in news services to promote their own vision of the world.

The next stage in the Vatican communications reform will be the integration on 1 January  2018, of the Vatican Printing House and L’Osservatore Romano.

This will take place progressively maintaining the identity of the historic Holy See daily but working to increase its circulation. – la croix international

Pope Francis: media sin by dredging up and sensationalising old news

Pope Francis meets the Italian media on 16 Dec 2017.

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis has criticised journalists who dredge up old scandals and sensationalise the news, saying it’s a “very serious sin” that hurts all involved, according to an Associated Press report on 18 Dec 2017.

Francis, who plans to dedicate his upcoming annual communications message to “fake news,” told Catholic media on Dec 16 that journalists perform a mission that is among the most “fundamental” to democratic societies.

But he reminded them to provide precise, complete and correct information and not to provide one-sided reports.

The pope said: “You shouldn’t fall into the ‘sins of communication’: disinformation, or giving just one side, calumny that is sensationalised, or defamation, looking for things that are old news and have been dealt with and bringing them to light today.”

He called those actions a “grave sin that hurts the heart of the journalist and hurts others.” – catholic herald

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