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Germany: mgr. Fürst (Bishops Conference), “listening is required in communication but it can be painful”

To coincide with the 50th World Communications Day, which the German Church traditionally celebrates on the second Sunday in September, mgr. Gebhard Fürst, bishop of Rottenburg-Stuttgart and president of the Commission for the Media at the German Bishops Conference, sent a reflection to media professionals, looking at the message sent by Pope Francis on January 24th from a German perspective. Fürst writes: “In his message for the World Communications Day, this year Pope Francis put together two topics that would at first sound alien to each other. He calls us to reflect, as part of the Holy Year, on the relationship between communication and compassion”. According to the bishop, “understanding the meaning of the Word is, according to the Holy Father, the closest thing to the concept of communication”. In addition, “listening is required – he goes on – but, as the Pope says, it an be painful. Because it only works if one relinquishes one’s sovereignty”. According to Fürst, only if we enter into an honest dialogue as a Church in the world “are the evangelical message and the revelation, which is therefore a communicative deed itself, accepted”. Based on the Pope’s reflections, the bishop points out that “we must not hesitate to seize the potentials of the social media, because achievements such as the interactivity and synchronicity of the media are promising for the efforts to mediate between men and their neighbours, between the Church and the world”.

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