46th WORLD DAY OF COMMUNICATIONS
Introduction to World Communications Day
World Communications Day, the only worldwide celebration called for by the Second Vatican Council (Inter mirifica, 1963), is celebrated in most countries, on the recommendation of the bishops of the world, on the Sunday before Pentecost. The announcement of the theme is made on September 29, the Feast of the Archangels Michael, Raphael and Gabriel, who has been designated as the patron of those who work in radio. The Holy Father's message for World Communications Day is traditionally published in conjunction with the Memorial of St. Francis de Sales, patron of writers (January 24), to allow bishops' conferences and diocesan offices sufficient time to prepare audiovisual and other materials for national and local celebrations
The extra-ordinarily varied nature of the contribution of modern communications to society highlights the need for a value which, on first consideration, might seem to stand in contra-distinction to it. Silence, in fact, is the central theme for the next World Communications Day Message: Silence and Word: path of evangelization. In the thought of Pope Benedict XVI, silence is not presented simply as an antidote to the constant and unstoppable flow of information that characterizes society today but rather as a factor that is necessary for its integration. Silence, precisely because it favors habits of discernment and reflection, can in fact be seen primarily as a means of welcoming the word. We ought not to think in terms of a dualism, but of the complementary nature of two elements which when they are held in balance serve to enrich the value of communication and which make it a key factor that can serve the new evangelization. It is clearly the desire of the Holy Father to associate the theme of the next World Communications Day with the celebration of the forthcoming Synod of Bishops which will have as its own theme: The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith.