Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Joy of the Gospel - 62

62. In the prevailing culture, priority is given to the outward, the immediate, the visible, the quick, the superficial and the provisional. What is real gives way to appearances. In many countries globalization has meant a hastened deterioration of their own cultural roots and the invasion of ways of thinking and acting proper to other cultures which are economically advanced but ethically debilitated. This fact has been brought up by bishops from various continents in different Synods. The African bishops, for example, taking up the Encyclical Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, pointed out years ago that there have been frequent attempts to make the African countries “parts of a machine, cogs on a gigantic wheel. This is often true also in the field of social communications which, being run by centres mostly in the northern hemisphere, do not always give due consideration to the priorities and problems of such countries or respect their cultural make-up”.[57] By the same token, the bishops of Asia “underlined the external influences being brought to bear on Asian cultures. New patterns of behaviour are emerging as a result of over-exposure to the mass media… As a result, the negative aspects of the media and entertainment industries are threatening traditional values, and in particular the sacredness of marriage and the stability of the family”.[58]

[57] John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Africa (14 September 1995), 52: AAS 88 (1996), 32-33; ID. Encyclical LetterSollicitudo Rei Socialis (30 December 1987), 22: AAS 80 (1988), 539.

[58] John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Asia (6 November 1999), 7: AAS 92 (2000), 458.