Bishops welcome Pope Benedict XVI’s theme for World Communications Day 2012

03 Oct 2011

Bishops welcome Pope Benedict XVI’s theme for World Communications Day 2012 

‘Silence and Word: path of evangelisation’

Today Bishop John McAreavey and Bishop Denis Brennan of the Bishops’ Communications Council welcomed the theme chosen by Pope Benedict for the World Day of Social Communications 2012 – “Silence and word: path of evangelisation”.  The full text of the message will be published on 24 January 2012, Feast of St. Francis of Sales, patron saint of journalists.

The recent communiqué from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications in Rome explains that: “The extraordinarily 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 contradistinction to it. Silence, in fact, is the central theme for the next World Communications Day Message: ‘Silence and Word: path of evangelisation’.

“In the thought of Pope Benedict XVI, silence is not presented simply as an antidote to the constant and unstoppable flow of information that characterises society today but rather as a factor that is necessary for its integration. Silence, precisely because it favours 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 evangelisation. 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 Evangelisation for the Transmission of the Christian Faith’.”

Welcoming the theme Bishop Brennan said “World Communications Day is a very important date in the calendar of the Universal Church as it was the only worldwide celebration called for by the Second Vatican Council.  The theme which Pope Benedict has chosen reminds us of the value of silent reflection and the necessity to find quiet time for reflection in our lives, something which can often be overlooked with so many other things on our minds in an increasingly busy and chaotic world.”

Bishop McAreavey concluded “We look forward to reading the full text of Pope Benedict’s message when it becomes available in January. In Ireland, as we continue with our preparations to host the 50th International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin in 2012, there is a greater awareness of the need to come into communion with Christ and one another. Finding a silent space to reflect on God’s word can only help us in this preparation as we meet the Lord in the scriptures and in the breaking of the bread.”


Notes to Editors:

  • Bishop John McAreavey and Bishop Denis Brennan are co-chairs of the Council for Communications of the Irish Bishops’ Conference.
  • Ireland will host the 50th International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin from June 10 – 17, 2012. Please see for more information.
  • The 46th World Day of Social Communications will be celebrated on the Sunday before Pentecost Sunday which in 2012 falls on Sunday 20th May.
  • Previous themes addressed by Pope Benedict in his messages for World Communications Day have been:
    • 2006: The Media: A Network for Communication, Communion and Cooperation
    • 2007: Children and the Media: a Challenge for Education
    • 2008: The Media: At the Crossroads between Self-Promotion and Service. Searching for the Truth in order to Share it with Others
    • 2009: New Technologies, New Relationships. Promoting a Culture of Respect, Dialogue and Friendship
    • 2010: The priest and pastoral ministry in a digital world: new media at the service of the Word
    • 2011: Truth, proclamation and authenticity in the digital age

Further information:

Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 086 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 087 310 4444