Speaking With Mercy

Use the power of communication to build bridges and heal wounds, not generate hatred or misunderstanding, Pope Francis said in his message for World Communications Day on Jan. 22. The Catholic Church must proclaim the truth and denounce injustice without alienating everyone in need of God’s help, he said. “We can and we must judge situations of sin—such as violence, corruption and exploitation—but we may not judge individuals, since only God can see into the depths of their hearts.” What people say, how they say it and what actions they take must all “express God’s compassion, tenderness and forgiveness for all.” Only by giving witness to and preaching with Jesus’ warmth and mercy can the words of faith come alive to touch people’s hearts and sustain them on the journey toward fullness of life, he said. The church and her ministers need to communicate in a way that never implies “a prideful and triumphant superiority over an enemy, or demean those whom the world considers lost and easily discarded.”

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