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Pauline Prize 2017 Awarded to Beppe Fiorello

The FSP Communications and Culture Prize 2017 was awarded to Italian actor and cinematographer Beppe Fiorello at the conclusion of the celebrations marking this annual Pauline event, which is promoted and organized by the FSP Association for Communications and Culture and the Social Communications Office of the Vicariate of Rome, under the patronage of the Holy See’s Secretariat for Communications. The event took place in Rome on 15 May 2017 in preparation for World Communications Day.

The reflections presented at the encounter revolved around the theme of the 51st WCD: “Fear not, for I am with you” (Is. 43:5). Communicating Hope and Trust in Our Time.”

“How can we begin to read reality through the right lens?” the Pope asks in this year’s Message. He then goes on to remind us how important it is to interpret events in the right way and to present them so that the information communicated is correct and well-balanced.

The Holy Father says that this is best done through the “lens” of the Gospel. “In Christ,” he affirms, “even darkness and death become a point of encounter with Light and Life. Hope is born–a hope accessible to everyone, at the very crossroads where life meets the bitterness of failure.”

It is through this openness to the Good News that we attain a new vision of things. In fact, he continues, “seen in this light, every new tragedy that occurs in the world’s history can also become a setting for good news, inasmuch as love can find a way to draw near and to raise up sympathetic hearts, resolute faces and hands ready to build anew.”

The evening’s program was moderated by Vincenzo Corrado, director of the Catholic Press Agency SIR (Servizio Informazione Religiosa) and guest speakers for the occasion were Msgr. Dario Edoardo Viganò, prefect of the Holy See’s Secretariat for Communications, Mario Calabresi, director of the weekly newspaper La Repubblica, and Monica Maggioni, president of RAI (Italy’s largest television network).

The FSP Communications and Culture Prize is bestowed each year on a person or Association that has best expressed, through a work or activity, the Pope Message for World Communications Day. This year, the award went to Beppe Fiorello for the high ethical quality of his films, which recount the stories of ordinary people who lead outstanding lives because of their commitment to living their civil and religious responsibilities in a morally upright way. The protagonists in Fiorello’s films always strive to uphold the truth, taking the side of those considered the “least” in society.

Pope Urges Vatican Communications to go Digital amid Ongoing Reform

Pope Francis told the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communications, which is holding their first plenary assembly this week, that given a growing digital culture throughout the world, new media must become a primary platform for spreading the Gospel.

“Studying new ways and means to communicate the Gospel of mercy to all people, in the heart of different cultures, through the media that the new digital cultural context makes available to our contemporaries” is something that is “very much in my heart,” Pope Francis said May 4.

He spoke to members of his Secretariat for Communications, which was formed in June 2015 as part of his ongoing reform of the Roman Curia, during their first plenary assembly.

The assembly is taking place May 3-5 at the Vatican and gathers members of the secretariat, which is headed by Msgr. Dario Edoardo Vigano.

In his audience with the plenary participants, Francis said the word “reform” is something we shouldn’t be afraid of. To reform, he said, isn’t just “repainting” things, but is rather “giving another form to things, organizing them in a different way.” “And it must be done with intelligence, meekness, but also...also, allow me the word, with a bit of ‘violence,’” he said, but stressed that its a “good violence to reform things.”

Pope Francis established the Secretariat for Communications on June 27, 2015, with the promulgation of the motu proprio, “The current communication context.”