Towards a Fully Human Communication | World Communications Day 2024

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May 2, 2024

World Communications Day is an annual celebration observed by the Church on the Sunday before Pentecost.

It began in 1967, established by Pope Paul VI. The day is dedicated to recognizing and reflecting on the opportunities and challenges presented by modern communication tools like the press, movies, radio, TV, and the internet. It stemmed from a realization during the Second Vatican Council that the Church needed to engage more effectively with the contemporary world.

The celebration highlights the importance of media in shaping culture and society. It emphasizes the positive potential of media for spreading truth, beauty, and goodness, while also acknowledging the risks of promoting less noble values. Pope John Paul II referred to the communications world as the “first Areopagus of the modern age,” emphasizing its role in uniting humanity and shaping personal, family, and social behavior.

World Communications Day encourages the Church to use media to share its message and promote values that contribute to human development and well-being.

Adapted from SIGNIS Asia

Pope Francis’s message for this year’s World Day of Social Communications, celebrated on May 12, delves into the theme of “Artificial Intelligence and the Wisdom of the Heart: Towards a Fully Human Communication.” This theme aligns closely with his previous message for the World Day of Peace, which addressed the development of artificial intelligence systems.

Starting with the Heart

In his message, Pope Francis emphasizes the importance of beginning our reflections on AI with the human heart. He highlights the heart as a symbol of integrity, unity, and our encounter with God. The wisdom of the heart, he explains, enables us to integrate various aspects of our lives and make decisions that consider both individuality and community.

Opportunity and Danger

Pope Francis warns against seeking wisdom solely from machines, noting that while AI can be useful in certain fields, it becomes harmful when it distorts our relationships and understanding of reality. He stresses the need for regulation, recognizing that regulation alone is not sufficient to address the ethical challenges posed by AI.

Growth in Humanity

The Pope calls for collective growth in humanity, emphasizing the importance of nurturing real, compassionate relationships in an increasingly diverse society. He pays tribute to journalists who risk their lives to report on human suffering, highlighting the vital role of direct human experience in understanding the world’s complexities.

Questions for Today and the Future

In closing, Pope Francis challenges us to decide whether we will allow ourselves to be controlled by algorithms or nurture our hearts’ freedom to grow in wisdom. He urges us to work together to enhance our capacity for discernment and vigilance, ensuring that artificial intelligence serves the cause of fully human communication. He prays for humanity to regain the wisdom that predates modern technology, guiding us in using AI for the betterment of society.

Praying together on World Communications Day

Below are some prayers to use on or around World Communications Day.

O God,
whose word is truth
and in whose light we see light,
guide those who tell the story of our times through word and image.

Make them seekers after truth
and advocates of human dignity.
Grant discernment to all who rely on their labours,
and, as we confront the pain and promise of this world,
awaken in us a sense of wonder at your presence
and of longing for your peace.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

God for ever and ever.



For all work in communications;
may they listen with understanding and speak truth from the heart.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For all of us who receive the news in whatever format;
may we learn to discern the good news in all that we hear.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for all those in the Church who communicate to others, through multiple means, the saving truth of the gospel, that they may be diligent servants of the Word and conscientious champions of the truth. Lord in your mercy…

We pray for politicians that they may communicate candidly with the electorate and have the courage publicly to address controversial issues which need to be resolved if human dignity and the common good of society are to be upheld.
Lord in your mercy…

We pray for journalists who put themselves in danger to bring to others’ attention wrongdoing and human suffering, that their efforts to humanise society may bear fruit and that they may be kept safe from harm.
Lord in your mercy…

We pray for those who have been interiorly imprisoned as a result of their exposure to evil on the internet, that they may be given the strength of will to break out of their addictive behaviour and find peace and healing.
Lord in your mercy…

We pray for ourselves, that we may, through God’s grace, use modern media judiciously, so that our horizons may be expanded and we may grow in empathy with others, especially those who are most vulnerable.
Lord in your mercy…

Prayers from the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales

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