BALTIMORE. Through their work in the media, Catholic communications professionals have a calling “to heal the blindness that too often distorts the eyes and confuses the hearts of people in our world,” Washington Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory said June 9.
“You are the people who are directly engaged in the revelation of things that are concealed and hidden, but also life-giving for our Church,” the cardinal said during a Mass for Catholic journalists. “The work of revelation in which you are engaged is also about the hopeful, the uplifting, the spirit-building, the works of God.”
Cardinal Gregory celebrated the Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore during the Catholic Media Association’s annual Catholic Media Conference held this year June 6-9 in that city.
The CMA is a coalition of professionals working at Catholic newspapers, magazines, multimedia and social media outlets throughout the United States and Canada. Members include other Catholic communications professionals and freelancers working for Catholic media outlets.
“Catholic journalists have a great challenge before them,” Cardinal Gregory told the media professionals. “You must adhere to the highest principles of your profession. You must be diligent in research, honest in your editorial policy, competent in your use of the modern means of communication, but always motivated by the truth of Christ that is all too often only whispered in locked rooms or spoken in darkness. You are people who bring the full force of modern journalism to the task of revealing God’s own design for us in Christ.”
The cardinal reminded the journalists that they must “be more than simply competent reporters and recorders of religious events and the Christian Gospel.”
“Yours is the great opportunity of reporting a word of truth that has changed your own life. It is the love of that truth that motivates you to reveal those hidden things so that they can – in turn – change the lives of others,” Cardinal Gregory said. “I urge you to do that task. I pray that you will grow more dedicated to and competent and proficient in that responsibility.”
The cardinal noted that while journalists “are well aware of the significance that our contemporary society places on disclosure, especially of the sordid, the scandalous, the clandestine, the scurrilous,” they should “take some comfort that people still can manage to listen to the truth of the Lord’s teaching with delight – even in our often cynical world.”
He also said he was thankful for the CMA’s work because “we can all stand to hear a little more good news that brings light to those darkened places within us and within our society.”
“It is the proclamation of the good news of Christ that is the hidden message, the concealed truth that will eventually be proclaimed on rooftops that must continue to inspire Catholic communicators in today’s environment,” Cardinal Gregory said. “I am glad that you have such associations and regional opportunities to encourage one another and to deepen your friendships and professional affiliations.”
During the Mass, prayers were offered for those CMA members who died in the previous year. Cardinal Gregory prayed that those journalists “whose skills and dedication have contributed greatly to the high regard of Catholic communications throughout our nation and indeed the world, may they now be with Christ who is himself the fullness of truth.”