Effective communication premised on truth will go a long way to eliminate conflict, prejudice and superiority complex in the society, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Most Rev. Ignatius Ayau Kaigama has declared. The Archbishop made the observation in his homily at the celebration of the Mass to mark the 54th World Communications Day, and the seventh Sunday of Easter; at St. Ephraim Catholic Church, Jikwoyi, Abuja.
Speaking on the World Communications Day message of Pope Francis with the theme: That You May tell Your Children and Grandchildren (Exodus 10:2), Life is History; Archbishop Kaigama noted that the call of the Holy Father for media practitioners to revitalize the use of storytelling in the dissemination of news and information is not only appropriate but also for the common good of humanity.
Noting that in the use of storytelling for the communication reach-out apostolate of the Church or news dissemination, media practitioners must embrace the truth and report or write stories that will promote unity harmony and peace, and not what can motivate confusion, crisis or violence. He stated that the Holy Father faults the phenomenon of fake news that promotes falsehood in our world of today by saying: “it is not all stories that are good… In an age when falsification is
increasingly sophisticated… we need wisdom to be able to welcome and create beautiful, true and good stories.”
He added: “In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, this admonition of the Pope is quite timely; otherwise, we end up creating fear and unnecessary panic amongst people. The Holy Father enjoins us to listen to the Holy Scripture, which tells the story of stories; the great love story between God and humanity.”
The Archbishop while appreciating the invaluable contributions of media practitioners to peace and harmony in the society stated: “When you communicate well, you help to remove or minimize conflicts, prejudices, superiority complex, ignorance, etc.” He added: “Do your part well in building our nation by fostering positive interpersonal relationships, breaking down the barriers that keep the North and South sometimes politically bitterly opposed or Christians and Muslims becoming needlessly suspicious, distrustful and ill at ease with one another.”
Archbishop Kaigama also used the occasion to call for the reopening of places of religious worship pointing out that: “that there is immense benefit in community gathering and prayer.” He added: “Nigerians will find hope, consolation and peace coming together in prayer, aware however of social distancing and the required hygiene.”
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