Media practitioners in the country have been urged to always tell stories that promote harmony, unity and peace; and shun all forms of bigotry, discrimination and exploitation with the use of the media. The advice was given by the Catholic Bishop of Abeokuta Diocese, Most Rev. Peter Odetoyinbo, in his homily at the celebration of the Mass to mark this year’s World Communications Day, at SS Peter and Paul Cathedral, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Bishop Odetoyinbo premising his reflection on the theme of the Holy Father’s message with the theme: “That you may tell your children and grandchildren” (Ex.10:2) Life becomes history; noted that “the Holy Father addressed us passionately on the type of stories to tell, as stories that build up, not tear down; stories that help us to rediscover our roots and the strength needed to move forward together”.
The Bishop admonished media men and women, especially Catholic media practitioners to tell stories that can promote the common good of humanity, instead of focusing on those stories that divide or that primarily bring about bad memories, terror or wars. According to him, Catholic media practitioners should use their gifts and professional ability to promote the Gospel of truth, through story telling as, children and disciples of Jesus.
He declared: “Yes, because we are disciples of Jesus whose life is the perfect story of God’s love for humanity. The Life of Jesus, the Son of God is full of stories that are consoling, comforting, encouraging, loving and compassionate. Stories that reveal God’s love for humanity and His plan for the world, (Cf. Jn. 3:16). Our stories should not be different; we cannot but weave it around love and the life of Jesus the Son of God.”
Bishop Odetoyinbo also made references to the different stories about the Coronavirus pandemic that is presently ravaging the world noting that both have good and bad stories. He however admonished that media practitioners should always venture to disseminate “good stories that please God and binds humanity”. He concluded that we should tell more of these stories of hope and solace, of sharing and love, stories that reminds us of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection to save the world. (cf. Matt. 14:13-21)”.
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