Vatican City (Vatican Radio) "Silence and Word: path of evangelization" - that's the theme chosen by Pope Benedict XVI for the Church’s 46th World Day for Communications, celebrated each year on the Sunday before Pentecost - on Sunday May 20th this year.
The Pope traditionally releases his message for the occasion on January 24, the feast day of St. Francis de Sales, the patron saint of writers.But does this year's message represent a contradiction in terms?
Fr. Jean-Pierre Ruiz thinks not. He is a biblical scholar and Theology professor at St. John's University in New York, and he’s an expert in new media. He says the Pope’s choice of “silence and word” as a theme for evangelization and communication is “strangely eloquent…because we live in a world where words in a certain sense have become a cheapened commodity and where people say very often much less than they actually mean.”
Fr. Ruiz reminds us that “the Church has been about communicating not only by words, for a very long time – in fact, from the beginning.”
He explains “the Church’s liturgy for example is not just reading, it’s not just text, it’s not merely just what we say – it’s also the attitude of our bodies, it’s also sound without words in terms of instrumental liturgical music.”
“It involves the use of all of our senses: our sense of smell in terms of incense and the flowers used to decorate the sanctuary for the Eucharistic liturgy. So I think if we were to reduce communications to just mere words, I think we would be impoverished.”
In this program by Tracey McClure, we report on what Pope Benedict says in his Message for World Communications Day and hear Fr. Ruiz’s comments -Listen: