Intervention by the Dean of the Vatican Communications Department on the International Days of Saint Francis de Sales in Lourdes

During his participation in Lourdes in the International Days of St. Francis de Sales, heading the delegation of the Vatican Department of Communication, Paolo Ruffini, Dean of the Department, spoke about Pope Francis’ call on Catholic journalists to work on a different path, the path of the heart.

The 26th International Days of Saint Francis de Sales is being held in Lourdes from January 25 to 27, organized by the French Catholic Media Association. A delegation from the Vatican Department of Communications, headed by the Dean of the Department, Paolo Ruffini, is participating in this meeting, who spoke in his intervention about the importance of this event and the need for such meetings to reflect and pray together, so as not to lose the way and respect our identity as people and as a group, in addition to the importance of this gathering for journalists and workers. In communication who face challenges and have to understand the signs and testify to the truth.

The Dean of the Department stopped at the topic of this year’s meeting in Lourdes, which is how can we make our voice heard as Catholic journalists, and said that this question raises in itself other questions, the most important of which is why we have to make our voice heard. And Ruffini continued that the answer is provided by our presence here, because we have gathered because we feel that we have something to say that differs from the noise of the world, a noise that has produced many deaf people and threatens us with this danger as well. Returning to the question, how can we make our voice heard, he said that Pope Francis gives us the answer in his last message on the occasion of the World Day of Social Communication and links this answer to our patron Saint Francis de Sales, to whom the Holy Father dedicated an apostolic message on the fourth centenary of his death. Ruffini added that the two documents together constitute the prelude and implementation of an idea that relates to us and guides us to the path. The Pope invites us to make our voice heard, searching for a path different from raising the voice and prevailing shouting, the path of the heart, a path that has nothing to do with technologies in the world of technologies, nor with form in the world of appearances, because it is a path that is related to in essence.

Paolo Ruffini then recalled the words of St. Francis de Sales who said that it is enough to love well in order to speak well. He also talked about the falsehood of saying that the journalist should not care about anyone, as this is how the journalist escapes from his responsibility and loses even the possibility of verifying matters, and remains imprisoned in his theories, prejudices and his sick heart. Then the dean of the department spoke about the humility that a journalist should possess, and this requires the use of the heart, that we feel in our hearts our smallness and touch the gap between our duty to search for and tell the truth, and our ability to carry out this duty and the danger of making mistakes. He went on to stress the importance of relying on the heart scale in our assessment of our commitment to the truth, as the heart method helps us meet one of the main challenges facing the journalist, true freedom. Ruffini added that this challenge becomes more difficult when the media is polluted by exaggeration in the expression of conflict and bias, personal feelings and impressions. However, as Christians, we know that the truth makes us free, but the truth requires the wisdom of a pure heart and the responsibility of working in order to preserve its purity.

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The Dean of the Vatican Department of Communications concluded by stressing that we, as Catholic journalists, will be able to understand and speak with our hearts only when we see with the eyes of the heart and hear with its ears. Thus, we rediscover the secret of true communications in which actions and signs follow the right path, so they are received, understood, and resonated and accepted.

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