These quotes are taken from Pope Francis’s recent address to theForeign Press Association in Italy:

Church on your side

“I value your work; the Church esteems you, even when you put your finger on the wound, and perhaps the wound is in the ecclesial community. Yours is a valuable work because it contributes to the search for truth [that] sets us free.

“I repeat what St John Paul II said when he visited the headquarters of your association 31 years ago: ‘The Church is on your side. Whether Christian or not, in the Church you will always find the right esteem for your work and the recognition of the freedom of the press.’”

Search for truth

“Each of us knows how difficult the search for truth is, and how much humility it requires. And how much easier it is not to ask too many questions, to be satisfied with the first answers, to simplify, to remain on the surface, to settle for the usual solutions, which do not know the tiresomeness of research able to represent the complexity of real life. The humility of not knowing everything first is what drives research. The presumption of knowing everything is what obstructs it.”

Violent language

“At a time when, especially in social media but not only, many use violent and derogatory language, with words that hurt and sometimes destroy people, it is necessary instead to measure language and, as your patron, St Francis of Sales, said in Philothea, to use the word how the surgeon uses the scalpel.

“In a time of too many hostile words, in which speaking ill of others has become for many a habit, together with classifying people, it must always be remembered that every person has his intangible dignity, which can never be taken away.

“At a time when many spread fake news, humility prevents you from selling the spoiled food of misinformation and invites you to offer the good bread of truth.”

Humble journalists

“The humble journalist is free from conditioning, free from prejudices, and therefore courageous. Freedom requires courage! The humble and free journalist tries to tell the good, even if more often it is the evil that makes the news.

“What has always comforted me  is to find out how much good there is, how many people sacrifice themselves – even heroically – to assist a parent or sick child, how many people engage in daily service to others, how many reach out their hands instead of turning away.

“Please continue to recount also that part of reality that, thanks to God, is still the most widespread: the reality of those who do not surrender to indifference, of those who do not flee before injustice, but build patiently in silence.”

(Compiled by Fr Joe Borg)

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