At Signis, rethinking communication with the goal of lasting peace

Head of the Communications Department of the Holy See, Paolo Ruffini, delivered a speech at the Signis World Congress, the world conference of the Catholic League of Communication, which was organized this year in Seoul. The only way for him to rise to the technological challenge is to not be seen as an idol.

Amedeo Lomonaco – Vatican

There are things that technology cannot replace.”Like freedom, like the miracle of meeting people, the unexpected surprise, the conversion, the spark of creativity, the free lovePaolo Ruffini announced, during the opening of the global conference of the Catholic Network Signis, an international association of Catholic professionals in the field of communications. This year’s event focused on the theme “Peace in the Digital World »in Seoul until August 18, and gathers about 300 participants from all continents.

Overly connected but lonely

The head of the Communications Department pointed out that technology, the fruit of human creativity, makes it possible today to work such as teleconferencing, telemedicine or e-commerce, “It was unimaginable just a few decades agoBut the paradox of our time is thatWe are hyper connected but also lonely‘. He insisted that this was in fact the problem.

When there is no more communication, but only communication, then we must ask ourselves, make a personal and collective examination of conscience, and answer some questions. How can you be overly connected and terribly lonely? What is missing from our relationship to fill this unit ? “He has completed. Paolo Ruffini said that the only way to meet the challenge of technology is to”Don’t consider it a fetish. But do not demonize it either, and do not believe that it is tasked with the task of redeeming humanityThe governor advised.

Happiness cannot be bought

Paolo Ruffini still remembers the advice of Pope Francis, in response to a young girl, during a meeting with young people in a sanctuary of Solmo (South Korea) in 2014.Happiness cannot be bought. And when you buy happiness, you realize that that happiness is gone… The happiness that can be bought does not last. Only the happiness of love lasts‘, declared the Supreme Pontiff.

Consumption, according to the governor of the Communications Directorate, replaces deeper and longer happiness with short-term satisfaction. “We know that we are not only consumers (…). We know very well that only a relationship, a bond based on love can make us less lonely, it can last and make us happy.“, he added. And love, as Paolo Ruffini notes, is based on this supreme fragility which consists in feeling the need to love and to be loved, to give and give of ourselves.”This is the origin of all communication. This is why communication alone is not enoughThe governor said.

The dangers of social media

Paolo Ruffini also spoke in his speech about social networking communities. As Pope Francis pointed out in his Encyclical for the 53rd Day of Social Connectivity, these networks are not automatically synonymous with society: “Often, their identity is based on the opposition of the other, to those outside the group. Oftentimes they are defined by what divides rather than what unites. It leaves room for suspicion and the expression of all kinds of prejudices (ethnic, sexual, religious, etc.). And what should be a window to the world becomes a showcase for your narcissism.“.

New humanity

Thus, the challenge of good journalism, which is also the challenge of Signis, is “To find new ways of new communication, polluting genres and languages ​​by focusing on dialogue rather than marketing ideas, on intelligence as a moral category rather than the fanatical morality of the audience“, appreciates Paolo Ruffini. For him, creativity is needed to reach people in the place where they live, by finding opportunities to listen, dialogue and meet, as the Pope said recently in Quebec.”We must return to the essence and enthusiasm of the Acts of the Apostles. Catholic communicators, Catholic journalists, and all the men and women of goodwill engaged on this difficult and great front, where communication can be heroes of a new humanity, embodied in active and participatory communities, and an example of a new idea of ​​citizenship‘, he confirmed.

A challenge from the Cygnes World Congress

Virtual meetings and conferences on the use of media, including social media, this is the horizon toward which the work of this year’s Signis World Congress is headed. “Use of digital media, especially social media“As we read in the letter sent by Pope Francis last June before this conference, it raised a number of serious ethical questions that demand prudent and discerning judgment on the part of communicators and all concerned with the authenticity and quality of human relations. . Media sites are hotbeds of toxicity, hate speech and fake news.To meet this challenge, Signis can play an important role in combating disinformation, through media education and a network of Catholic media.

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