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Family will be center of next World Communications Day

Vatican City, Sep 29, 2014 / 04:02 pm .- World Communications Day 2015 will focus on the theme “Communicating the Family: A Privileged Place of Encounter with the Gift of Love," the Vatican announced Monday.

According to the Sept. 29 release, the theme is in continuity with 2014’s message, “Communication at the service of an authentic culture of encounter", as well as with the theme of the forthcoming Synods on the Family.

The Extraordinary Synod on the Family will begin within days, running Oct. 5-19. It serves as a precursor to the General Synod on the Family, as well as the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, both set to take place in 2015.

“The daily news shows us the difficulties facing the family today," the announcement reads. “Often, cultural changes do not help us appreciate how much the family is a good for society."

World Communications Day 2015 will take place May 17, and will reflect the task of telling those who “are perhaps wounded and disillusioned that love between a man and a woman is a good thing," of letting “children know they are a most precious gift," and of helping the “wounded and disappointed … rediscover the beauty of love".

“How can we show that the family is the privileged place where we experience the beauty of life, the joy and the gift of love, the consolation of forgiveness offered and received, and the encounter with the other?"

The statement adds that the Church must relearn “how to show that the family is a great gift, something good and beautiful."

“It is an exciting task because it moves people to look at the true reality of the human person, and it opens the doors to the future, that is, to life."

In a Sept. 12 interview with CNA, Fr. John Wauck, a professor of the Institutional Church Communications faculty at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, spoke about the unique challenge of communicating under the pontificate of Pope Francis, especially in light of the upcoming Synod on the Family.

“I think the novelty of Pope Francis, simply the novelty of his pontificate, but also his new way of communicating, is a challenge for journalists because they have to be careful about interpreting what the Pope is trying to say; and I think it is clear that the Pope is trying to provoke questions, raising new questions, opening questions for debate and he wants to see a lively discussion," he said.

“The responsible journalist," he said, “is one who tries to see all of the things that are being said and not favoring one or another, we are giving a balanced perspective and all the ideas that are in play around … the Synod on the Family."

World Communications Day takes place each year on the Sunday before Pentecost. The Pope traditionally releases a message for the day on Jan. 24, observing the feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of writers, journalists, and the Catholic press.

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