By Etop Ekanem
THE Vicar General of the Lagos Archdiocese of the Catholic Church, Monsignor Bernard Okodua, has charged media professionals to always disseminate the truth at all times and stand by it â€œwhen you are convinced of it.â€
The cleric spoke after a church service to markÂ the 44th World Day of Communications with the theme: â€œThe Priest and Pastoral Ministry in Digital World: New Media at the Service of the World,â€ at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos.
According to Msgr Okodua, â€œwhen you say the truth, sometimes people would not like it. They like to be told what they want to hear. But that is not what Christian Gospel is about. It is about telling the truth whether they like it or not and stand by the truth when you are convinced of it.â€
Also, the Catholic Pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI, has challenged priests to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ by employing the latest generation of audiovisual resources which, alongside traditional means, can open up broad new vistas for dialogue, evangelisation and catechesis.
In his message which was read at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos, Pope Benedict XVI, said by using new communication technologies, priests could introduce people â€œto the life of the Church and help our contemporaries to discover the face of Christ.â€
The Pontiff said this would best be achieved if â€œthey learn, from the time of their formation, how to use these technologies in competent and appropriate way, shaped by sound theological insights and reflecting a strongÂ priestly spirituality grounded in constant dialogue with the Lord.â€
On the challenges being faced by journalists, with recent killings of media men, Okodua said: â€œIf the government is a government of repute, that knows its onion, it should acknowledge that truth be told even when it is bitter. Government has the duty to protect the live of every citizen and especially journalists who risk their lives to get the truth of event and voice out those truth.â€
He urged journalists to always pray for Godâ€™s protection, adding: â€œWe should not say because few journalists have been killed, we should run away. No. Pray to God for protection. You have the support of the masses who appreciate the work the journalists are doing and are praying for you.â€