Pro Francisco

Final Declaration, 1 st International Congress
of Journalists 'Pro Pope Francis'

From our uncompromising vocation for quality religion news, and prompted by both the process of reform undertaken by Pope Bergoglio and by the reactions that process has garnered, we the journalists from different parts of the world gathered together on the occasion of the 1 st International Congress of Journalists 'Pro Pope Francis' declare the following:

1. Religion and spirituality are essential parts of the human being. We share the frustration of Pope Francis when in his encyclical Laudato Si' (229) he writes, "We have had enough of immorality and the mockery of ethics, goodness, faith and honesty. It is time to acknowledge that light-hearted superficiality has done us no good".

2. "To love the truth, to embody professionalism and to respect human dignity": as the Pope says, these are the keys of our work. This is our aim: to avoid the ideological and political instrumentalization of information, such that, in the face of "fake news" and similar phenomena, it may be offered to the public in a rigorous fashion. Such a commitment demands qualities such as honesty, transparency, the search for truth, rigor and impartiality, and that now more than ever.

3. Inspired by the prominence Francis seeks to give the victims of our throw-away culture, and thinking of all others who suffer, we commit ourselves to offer a voice, through our journalism, to the most impoverished, and to incorporate into our reporting work – from a position of critique and proposal – the search for equality, justice, solidarity, freedom and peace, as well as the care for our common home.

4. All of this requires an undertaking to include, on our part, that which sometimes we can't find in many news items:

- We recognise that mercy – the heart the Pope has given to his ministry – is also a vital part of reporting on the life of the Church.

- In his recent message for World Communications Day 2017, the Pope invited all "to offer the people of our time storylines that are at heart 'good news'".

5. In our personal and professional independence, and by listening and dialoguing, we, as journalists, seek to promote a "culture of the encounter". For that reason, we will endeavour to make the most of the synergy between our media outlets: to share information and to help that information circulate in our contacts and networks, so that it bears fruit.

Madrid, 23 rd November 2017

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