JANUARY 09, 2005, Vol 55, No 01

VATICAN CITY - John Paul II appealed to Catholic newspapers to be agents of the "civilization of love."

"The contribution of Catholic journalists is more precious than ever today both at the pastoral as well as the cultural and social level," the pope said during an audience with 200 participants from the assembly of the Italian Federation of Catholic Weeklies. "In the era of global communication, your mission is increasingly difficult. Do not be discouraged by the difficulties you meet."

According to the pope, Catholic newspapers, particularly weeklies, "breathe into families, parishes and cities the Christian values that form a great part of the spiritual patrimony of the Italian people."

Archbishop John Foley told the assembly, "People need sources of information on the Catholic Church that are complete and authentic. Catholics must be constantly updated on the teaching of the church and on the way it adapts in our life of today." - ZENIT