Receiving in audience the staff of a Catholic Italian TV programme, Pope Francis expresses gratitude for its continuing commitment to spread the Gospel message and encourages it to continue shining the spotlight on stories and realities of the peripheries.
By Linda Bordoni
Congratulating those, who twenty-six years ago, chose the name for the Italian TV programme: In His Image (A Sua Immagine), Pope Francis told its editors and other staff never to stop communicating the message of dignity and sacredness of life inherent in every human being.
The programme, which is a joint Italian State TV and Italian Bishops Conference venture, provides religious content, socio-political features and a Catholic perspective on current events. It also provides TV coverage of Papal events including the weekly Angelus or Regina Coeli prayer and his apostolic visits.
Every person is created in the image of God
To those gathered in the Vatican on Saturday for a private audience, the Pope said “We should never forget that every person is created in the image of God,” and this “must never cease to amaze us.”
“In each human being God has uniquely ignited a spark of his light.”
These words, he added, must not be used out of habit or become “words in the wind,” they must be preserved and communicated, especially in a time of change such as this.
“In this ‘image’, lies the origin and foundation of irreducible human dignity; the origin and foundation of our being all brothers and sisters, because we are children of the one Father, loved and created ‘in His image’,” he said.
Pope Francis noted that the programme is consistent with this vision, as it presents the faces and stories of men and women of our time.
Pope Francis greets staff members of the TV programme “A Sua Immagine”
Spotlighting neglected issues and situations
“It does so, in particular, by giving voice to the weakest and to those who suffer; it does so by speaking of those who live the Gospel in the geographic and existential peripheries of Italy and the world.”
“It does so by opening ‘windows’ on situations and places that often escape the radar of public opinion.”
The Holy Father noted that the programme shines the spotlight on many who witness to the Gospel with their experiences of life and service, and “reminds us that there are young people capable of commitment and of spending themselves for others.”
He upheld the fact that it shows the dramas of humanity, “through stories that allow us to keep hope alive because they allow us to glimpse the beauty of the lived Gospel.”
“I encourage you to continue on this path: There is a need to “globalise” solidarity, not indifference.”
Pope Francis concluded noting that proclaiming the Gospel means “testifying with our lives that there is a God of mercy who waits for us and who precedes us, who wanted us and who loves us.”
“With your specific work, you can contribute much in this regard,” he said, thanking those present also for giving echo to the appeals he makes every Sunday after the Angelus or Regina Coeli prayer, when he calls for attention for our brothers and sisters in conditions of grave difficulty.
“In this way you help television viewers not to forget them, to be close to them with prayer, with concrete help and with daily commitment.”
Pope Francis greets Lorena Bianchetti, presenter of the programme “A Sua Immagine”