Catholic Press Association 09 01 2016 E Edition Page 1

THE CATHOLIC JOURNALIST CATHOLIC PRESS ASSOCIATION OF THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA VOLUME 68 NUMBER 7 SEPTEMBER 2016 By Bob Zyskowski The Catholic Journalist During the 2016 Catholic Media Conference in St. Louis June 3, Bishop Edward Braxton of Belleville, Illinois, challenged Catholic media to lead the way and stop using the words "minority" and "minority group." The bishop's allegorical homily at the Old Cathedral of St. Louis alleged that describing people with those words contributed to racial profiling and stereotyping. This is an important topic that has ramifications for people of every color, ethnicity, country of origin and gender preference. The Catholic Journalist invites members of the Catholic Press Association to share their reaction and their thoughts to the bishop's suggestion. What did you think of his challenge? Are there other ideas you have that your publication/media can do to stop the perpetuation of negative racial stereotypes? Anything you have done? It's an important topic that has ramifications for people of every color, ethnicity, country of origin and gender preference. Email responses, please, to The Catholic Journalist at To use 'minority' or not: What's your reaction to Bishop Braxton's challenge? EDITOR'S NOTE: In receiving the St. Francis DeSales Distinguished Communicator Award this May from the De Sales Media Group, Basilian Father Tom Rosica accepted the honor and praised the De Sales Media Group as one of the finest Catholic media operations in North America. Below is his acceptance speech, which has been edited for length. What I admire very much about [the work of the De Sales Media Group] is that you have avoided the great temptation in religious communications and broadcasting to remain prisoners of nostalgia, enchained by the past. Instead, your activities are firmly rooted in the Catholic tradition and pointed to a future of hope. You open doors to a faith that offers attractive, compelling answers to questions deep in the hearts of all men and women. Isn't this the heart of the Petrine Ministry of Pope Francis? Aren't these the lessons he has been teaching us over the past three years? Contrary to some voices which think he is a great revolutionary who has rocked the boat, or even sunk the ship, Francis has not overturned doctrine and age-old beliefs that are the bedrock of our Catholic Christian faith. He simply wishes to make those teachings understandable and part of our lives. Pope Francis has the boldness and courage to ask deep questions and he is unafraid to start a conversation and remain with it. Francis rejects the reduction of Catholicism to hot-topic moral issues. He does not want to reduce the Church only to discussions and heated debates. Pope Francis makes a distinction between dogmatic and moral teachings, reminding us that they do not hold the same weight. With Francis, the Church must re-enter public discourse with a full- throated defense of the common good that rises above bitter partisan divisions that have poisoned our cultures in North America.We must stand for something much greater than division, rancor, labeling and meanness of spirit that have dominated politics and infected the Church. He calls for a Church "of and for the poor" that is not turned in on itself, but "in the streets." He reminds us forcefully that the culture of prosperity deadens us. . . . In his highly appropriate and timely message for this year's World Day of Communications . . . Francis chose Communication and Mercy: A Fruitful Encounter as the theme of this year's Communication Day. At the heart of the 2016 message is the mercy of God. . . . Some of the key points from this year's World Communications Day message are the following: - We are reminded that to communicate in an authentic manner we must be able to "listen" to, rather than merely "hear" when we encounter another. - If our hearts and actions are inspired by charity, by divine love, then our communication will be touched by God's own power. - As sons and daughters of God, we are called to communicate with everyone, without exception. - Christians ought to be a constant encouragement to communion and, even in those cases where they must firmly condemn evil, they should never try to rupture relationships and communication. . . . - Mercy can help mitigate life's troubles and offer warmth to those who have known only the coldness of judgment. May our way of communicating help to overcome the mind-set that neatly separates sinners from the righteous. We can and we must judge situations of sin - such as violence, corruption and exploitation - but we may not judge individuals, since only God can see into the depths of their hearts. - Our primary task is to uphold the truth with love. - Listening is never easy. Many times it is easier to play deaf. Listening means paying attention, wanting to understand, to value, to respect and to ponder what the other person says. The necessity of dialogue Time and time again over the past three years, Francis has reminded us of the necessity of dialogue with others, and this is a very important part of our mission in the area of Catholic media and broadcasting. Each and every one of us is called to be an instrument and agent of peace, by uniting and not dividing, by extinguishing hatred and not holding on to it, by opening paths to dialogue and not by constructing new walls. . . . . . . As he received the prestigious Charlemagne prize in a special ceremony in the Vatican, Pope Francis once again emphasized the necessity and capacity for dialogue. He spoke these provocative words to the audience that included leaders of many European nations and governments: "If there is one word that we should never tire of repeating, it is this: dialogue. We are called to promote a culture of dialogue by every possible means and thus to rebuild the fabric of society. The culture of dialogue entails a true apprenticeship and a discipline that enables us to view others as valid dialogue partners, to respect the foreigner, the immigrant and people from different cultures as worthy of being listened to. . . . Today we urgently Continued on page 4 How his work is our work By Father Thomas Rosica, OSB

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