Pope calls for a Church that listens


Thanks to the journey of the Plenary Council, Australians are well placed to respond to Pope Francis’ exhortation to be people who listen, Australian Catholic Media Council chair Debra Vermeer says. Source: ACBC Media Blog.

Pope Francis’ message for World Communications Day, which will be celebrated in Australia on May 22, has the theme “Listening with the ear of your heart”.

In his message, the Pope speaks of the temptation to speak without listening, as well as the tendency to hear people speaking but not actually listen to them.

“What specifically makes communication good and fully human is listening to the person in front of us, face to face, listening to the other person whom we approach with fair, confident and honest openness,” he wrote.

“The lack of listening, which we experience so often in daily life, is unfortunately also evident in public life, where, instead of listening to each other, we often ‘talk past one another’.”

Ms Vermeer said the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia, and its stages of listening and dialogue and listening and discernment in particular, has sought to bring Catholics into a space of deeper and prayerful listening.

“That has been accomplished through listening to that which stirs within us, listening to each other and listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit,” she said.

“Now in its 56th year, the papal message for World Communications Day has always been challenging and in an age when everyone can act as a broadcaster, this call to be people who listen is timely and necessary.”

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president Archbishop Mark Coleridge, in his homily at the start of this month’s bishops’ plenary meeting, reflected on the importance of listening.

“A Church that has often been more used to speaking than listening has to give the tongue a rest and open the ear in new ways,” he said.

Details and resources: www.catholic.org.au/wcd


World Communications Day highlights importance of listening (ACBC Media Blog)

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