Announce the Mercy of God! (And mind your language and gestures when you’re in the process). That’s the basis of the theme of the next World Communications Day which is
Communication and Mercy: A Fruitful Encounter.
According to today’s Vatican Radio report, this year’s theme was chosen to coincide with the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, the Holy Year called by Pope Francis to announce the Mercy of God. The Pontifical Council for Social Communications announced the theme for the 2016 World Communications Day celebrated each year on the Sunday before Pentecost, which next year is on May 8th.
The statement from the Pontifical Council notes the day provides an “appropriate occasion to reflect on the deep synergy between communication and mercy.”
The Theme highlights the capacity of good communication to open up a space for dialogue, mutual understanding and reconciliation, thereby allowing fruitful human encounters to flourish. At a time when our attention is often drawn to the polarized and judgmental nature of much commentary on the social networks, the theme invokes the power of words and gestures to overcome misunderstandings, to heal memories and to build peace and harmony.
In other words, let us reflect on what we post in comm boxes (is it caustic or arrogant?), how we present the clear teaching of our faith (do we come off as judgmental or sarcastic?), the types of material we choose to present (is it authentic from the Church and the Gospel of Christ or is it my opinion stated as fact?), the appropriateness of the images we offer (do they belittle or trivialize our faith or our authentic witnesses?), the tone in which we communicate (are we sending vibes of love or hate?).
World Communications Day was established by Paul VI after the Second Vatican Council in order to draw attention to the “the vast and complex phenomenon of the modem means of social communication.”