Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Advice for Bloggers (As Well As the Media)

"The freedom of public expression of one's own views is a great good for society, but it does not assure freedom of expression. Freedom of speech does not count for much, if the word uttered is not free, if it is a slave to selfishness, lies, deceit, or maybe even hate or contempt for others--for those who differ in nationality, religion, or point of view. The benefit of public speech and expression will not be very great if the words are going to be used not to seek truth and share that truth, but only to win a discussion and defend one's own opinion--perhaps even mistaken ones. Words may sometimes express truth in a degrading manner. It may happen that a person says some sort of truth in order to substantiate his own lie. Man brings great confusion to our mortal earth, when he tries to use truth in the service of lies. For many people, it is then more difficult to recognize that this is God's world. Truth is also degraded when it is devoid of love for itself and for man. In general, it is impossible to follow the Eight Commandment--at least on the level of society--if it lacks goodwill, a firm trust, and a respect for all the differences, which enrich our social life."

--Pope John Paul II
Discourse at Olsztyn, Poland, June 6, 1991
"A Year With John Paul II: Daily Meditations from His Writings and Prayers"