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Vietnam prelate calls on journalists to report truthfully

Effective communication promotes solidarity and encourages people to grow in spirit and community life, says Archbishop Nang

UCA News reporter, Ho Chi Minh City

UCA News reporter, Ho Chi Minh City

Published: May 20, 2021 04:56 AM GMT

Updated: May 20, 2021 06:36 AM GMT

Vietnam prelate calls on journalists to report truthfully

Participants attend the celebration of the 55th World Day of Social Communications on May 15 at the Pastoral Center in Ho Chi Minh City. (Photo courtesy of tgpsaigon.net)

An archbishop in southern Vietnam has called on local reporters to connect people with one another through the quality of their reporting.

Some 200 priests, religious and journalists celebrated the 55th World Day of Social Communications on May 15 at the Pastoral Center in Ho Chi Minh City. The celebration, with the theme “Come and See,” was managed by Ho Chi Minh City Archdiocese’s committee for communication ministry.

Archbishop Joseph Nguyen Nang said communication plays a key role in church activities and all sectors of society. The Church pays much attention to communications that spread news effectively.

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He shared the story of a Buddhist teenager in Kien Giang province converted to Catholicism last October after watching video clips on homilies by the late Archbishop Paul Bui Van Doc and Bishop Louis Nguyen Anh Tuan. The teenager was inspired by local Catholics’ good examples in faith practices and charitable work.

The prelate said social media associates people with one another and becomes useful for people. Thanks to social media, a woman found her husband 10 years after they lost one another.

“Communication is an effective way for Catholics to carry out their missions and Catholic communication aims to create communion with God and other people,” said the prelate. “In doing so, those who are engaged in communications work have to report good news to other people and help them love, share and unite one another,” he added.

We receive the mandate from Jesus and spread the gospel, good news and truth to other people in all circumstances

Archbishop Nang, deputy of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam, advised participants to be aware when they communicate news and events to ensure they do not do so with the aim of promoting personal interests, seeking revenge or getting "likes."

He said the World Day of Social Communications, intentionally observed on the Feast of the Ascension of Jesus Christ, is meant to remind people about Jesus’ words: Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

“We receive the mandate from Jesus and spread the gospel, good news and truth to other people in all circumstances,” he said, adding that many people receive good news from God but do not understand how to proclaim him.

He said evangelization is the mission of Catholics who must communicate good news so that people could understand the gospel of God and church views and live a good life.

Archbishop Nang warned that in reality bad news is popular news and many people prefer bad news over good news.

“It is important that we have to regain real joy and enthusiasm of the gospel to communicate good news to other people,” he said.

He reminded participants to respect the truth in their reporting. “We have the right to report the news but should remember that people also have the right to know the truth. When we communicate deceitfulness, we violate their right to know the truth.”

He said disciples of Christ are those who proclaim the truth. “Pope Francis invites us to come and experience the scenes, not stay at home and imagine. We need to know how to listen, see, read and understand the full truth.”

We report true news to make solidarity among communities and encourage people to grow in spirit, community life and positive values

Noting half a loaf of bread is bread but half-truth is not truth, Archbishop Nang asked journalists to discern and respect the truth, and be extremely careful when reporting news as fake news predominates on social media.

“We report true news to make solidarity among communities and encourage people to grow in spirit, community life and positive values,” he said, adding that they should be responsible for people’s good repute, personal prestige and private lives.

Concluding, he called on participants to speak the truth in love and work well to bring good fruits to others as they are given the mission of communication from God.

During the celebration, participants reviewed their activities during the past year and studied the message of the World Day of Social Communications from Pope Francis.

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