March 16, 2023

Verbatim: Pope Francis' address to editorial board of 'A Sua Immagine'


This is the text of the address by Pope Francis to the editorial board of the television program A Sua Immagine, which airs on the Italian national broadcaster Radiotelevisione italiana. 

I am pleased to meet all the group of A Sua Immagine: besides the presenter, Ms. Lorena Bianchetti, also the writers, editors, technicians and all those who collaborate on the program. And I also extend my greetings to those who have preceded you in the past.

As you know, I, too, often watch your program, at least in part: when I arrive for the Angelus, almost at the end of the Mass…you start and I listen to you until midday. (It’s) a bit like the waiting room for the Angelus… And this program was the result of a collaboration between the RAI and the Italian Episcopal Conference. Indeed, the Sunday scheduling coincides, in the final part, with the Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square; so, before appearing at the window, I like to watch for a few minutes, and at times I have mentioned some content that has particularly struck me.

I would like to compliment those who, 26 years ago, chose the name for the program: A Sua Immagine (“In His Image”). These words take us back to the beginning of the Bible, to the Book of Genesis, where at the peak of creation God says: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Gen 1:26). We are created “in God’s image”! We (must) not grow accustomed to this expression; it should never cease to astound us. In each human being God has ignited, in a unique way, a spark of His light, in every person, good or bad, everyone, because it is a matter of a noun, not an adjective: “If he is good he is a believer”… no, no, no. God, in the image of God. This is the noun. 

In this time, where there is a crisis of substantivity and also the overuse of adjectives — we are in the age of adjectivization: then, when they ask you: “And who is this?” — “He is a thief, he is this and the other”, first the adjective, then comes the noun. No. We have to take back the substance of things. And In Sua Immagine it is your vocation to seek the substance of things and to free ourselves from this culture of adjectivity. Do not let these words, out of habit, become idle…. Preserve the wonder of this Word, so as to be able to communicate it. It is important. The epochal change (we) are experiencing bears witness to the loss, on the part of many people, precisely of the awareness of being children of God, created “in His image.” There is a need to revive it. Because there, in this “image,” the origin and foundation of the irreducible human dignity is found: the origin and foundation of our all being brothers and sisters, as children of the one God, beloved and created “in His image.”

Consistent with this vision, your program presents faces and stories of men and women of our time. It does so, in particular, by giving voice to the weakest and those who suffer… it does so by opening “windows” on situations and places that often fly under the radar of public opinion. Through your guests and films, you testify to many experiences of life and service, Sunday after Sunday, gracefully, and without shouting. You remind us there are young people capable of dedicating and spending themselves for others; you also show the tragedies of humanity, but through stories that enable 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 “globalize” solidarity, and not indifference. And today indifference is so globalized… Proclaiming the Gospel means bearing witness, with our life, that there is a God of mercy who awaits us and precedes us, who wanted us and loves us. And you, with your specific work, can contribute a great deal in this sense. And, in this regard, I thank you and the RAI for contributing to giving resonance to the appeals that I address after the Angelus or the Regina Caeli to brothers and sisters in conditions of grave difficulty. In this way, you help the viewers not to forget, to be close to them in prayer, with concrete aid and with daily effort….

I bless all of you and your loved ones. And I ask you, please, to pray for me — for, not against!

March 4 2023

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