Pope Francis listens to a question while responding to journalists aboard his flight from Tallinn, Estonia, to Rome in 2018. (CNS/Paul Haring)
In the search for truth, Catholic communicators must learn how to listen above all else, the Vatican said.
"Listen" will be the theme for the 2022 celebration of World Communications Day, said the statement released Sept. 29. A papal message on the theme should be published on or around the Jan. 24 feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of journalists.
"The pandemic has struck and wounded everyone, and everyone needs to be heard and comforted. Listening is also fundamental for good information," said the statement announcing the theme.
The pope's choice of the theme for the 2022 celebration, which will be held May 29 in most dioceses, is drawn from Jesus' words in the Gospel of Luke, "Take care, then, how you listen."
The search for truth, the statement said, "begins with listening" as does "bearing witness through social communications media."
"Every dialogue, every relationship begins with listening," it said. "For this reason, in order to grow — even professionally — as communicators, we must relearn to listen a great deal."
The Vatican said that Jesus' words are a reminder that in order to listen, Christians need "courage, an open and free heart, without prejudices."
"In this time, when the whole church is invited to listen in order to learn to be a synodal church, we are all invited to rediscover listening as essential for good communication," the statement said.