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Holy Father emphasizes importance of media education

Published on: 30.01.07
Source: Press office of the Holy See

'Children and the Media: A Challenge for Education' is the theme chosen by Pope Benedict XVI for the 41st World Communications Day 2007. The Holy Fathers message underlines the formative influence of the media on children, calls the trend to produce programmes, videos and films that show asocial behaviour and violence in the name of entertainment a perversion and appeals to the media to take their responsibility.

In his message Benedict XVI points out that the relationship of children, media, and education can be considered from two perspectives: the formation of children by the media; and the formation of children to respond appropriately to the media. He calls for the responsibility of parents, Church and school to educate children to be able to discriminate in their use of media and underlines the role of the parents in training the conscience of their children, so they become able to choose or reject programmes available. Benedict XVI states that media education, like all education, requires formation in the exercise of freedom.

The Holy Father emphasizes the negative impact of programs and products - including animated films and video games - which admire violence and portray anti-social behaviour or trivialize human sexuality in the name of entertainment. He calls these a perversion, even more repulsive when these programmes or films address children and adolescents. Therefore pope Benedict XVI appeals to the media industry to safeguard the common good, to uphold the truth, to protect individual human dignity and promote respect for the needs of the family.

The Holy Father's message for World Communications Day is traditionally published in conjunction with the Memorial of Saint Francis de Sales, patron of writers on January, the 24st and focuses on a theme concernce with the ethics of the mass media.

It has been published in Italian, English, French, German, Spanish and Portuguese. The English Version is available on the sites of the vatican under the following link.

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