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During dark days of crisis, the Catholic Press shines a light

This past Sunday,  the young priest at my parish addressed the current crisis in the Church, saying it was made worse by sinful and criminal behavior being hidden in darkness. Though painful, the truth must be brought to light. Christ is the light. We should not be afraid of the truth coming to light. Christ is at work in the truth because he is truth itself.

He went on to ask if the healing necessary for victims and the accountability of leaders would have happened without the media shining a light on this darkness. He thought not and went on to say we should thank the media.

This got me thinking. Of course, the true heroes in this tragedy are the victims who have endured unspeakable crimes and whose courage in coming forward has enabled the truth to be revealed. But we in the media also have an important role to play in bringing truth to light. During these dark days, the secular media, the Catholic press, and specifically, the diocesan press, have risen to the occasion.

At our best, we are evangelists first and create content that draws people to Jesus and his Church. However, to do that well, we must have credibility as Catholic journalists. We must employ the best practices of our profession at all times, but especially during times of crisis. Our unique roles and the access we enjoy mean that we have an obligation to ask the hard questions. We must fact-check and push for truth and transparency, even when the news is bad, even when the failings of beloved leaders are brought to light.

What can we, as editors, journalists and writers, do to help heal this crisis? What can we do for those true heroes who stepped up and spoke out? It is our role as Catholic media to help those victims, as well as all the faithful and our leaders, see the extent of the wounds to the Body of Christ and to honor, through our work, the dignity of every person as a child of God. In this way, we can play a crucial role in the healing process.

Finally, we as Catholic communicators have been blessed to belong to a community of peers through our professional affiliations with one another. We should remember to turn to one another for advice, support and counsel as we navigate the difficult tasks at hand. Our friendships as brothers and sisters in Christ can be a source of encouragement and wisdom in the days ahead.

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