On the feast of the Immaculate Conception yesterday, the Holy Father had some stern words on the role of the mass media in our everyday lives in this information age:For the uninitiate, the Holy Father is decrying the recrudescent influence of what I will simply call paganism into the minds and hearts of even the faithful today through the MSM. (René Girard's "primitive sacred" is congruent to paganism, but must be clearly understood in an anthropological sense unlike the way "sacred" is used by Benedict XVI above.)
“Every day, in the newspapers, television and radio, evil is told to us, said again, amplified, so that we get used to the most horrible things and become desensitized,” Pope Benedict XVI said at the Spanish Steps in Rome. “In a certain way, it poisons us, because the negative is never fully cleansed out of our system but accumulates day after day. The heart hardens, and thoughts become gloomy. For this reason, the city needs Mary, whose presence speaks of God, reminds us of grace’s victory over sin, and makes us hope even in the humanly most difficult situations.”
The Pope also spoke about the sensationalism of mass-media news and the undignified way the individuals involved are often treated: “They make it to the front page of newspapers or the top of TV newscast — they are exploited until the end, for as long as the news and the images are newsworthy. Few can resist such a perverse mechanism. The city first hides, then exposes them to public scrutiny, without pity or with false pity. Everyone would like to be accepted as a person and considered as something sacred, because each human story is a sacred story that deserves the utmost of respect.” More here.
God guard and rest your soul during these darkening days of Advent. "Let not your hearts be troubled; neither let them be afraid," said Our Lord. And also, "In this world you will have tribulation. But be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world."
Full agreement with the Holy Father. Forget that at your peril.