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Pope Francis: to mass media, “Rediscover the power of mercy”. And he cites Shakespeare

Pope Francis has invited “all people of good will” to “rediscover the power of mercy to heal wounded relationships and to restore peace and harmony to families and communities” in his message for the 50th World Day of Social Communications (8 May 2016) entitled “Communication and Mercy: A Fruitful Encounter”. Communication – the Pope recalls in his message, presented in the Vatican this morning – has “the power to build bridges, to enable encounter and inclusion, and thus to enrich society”. Indeed, “words can build bridges between individuals and within families, social groups and peoples. This is possible both in the material world and the digital world”. Hence, “our words and actions should be such as to help us all escape the vicious circles of condemnation and vengeance which continue to ensnare individuals and nations, encouraging expressions of hatred. The words of Christians ought to be a constant encouragement to communion and, even in those cases where they must firmly condemn evil, they should never try to rupture relationships and communication”. Mercy is therefore important as it can “create a new kind of speech and dialogue”. As “Shakespeare put it: ‘The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed: it blesseth him that gives and him that takes’ (The Merchant of Venice, Act IV, Scene I)”.

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