Catholic Bishop Urges Media Practitioners in Africa to “promote family cohesion, harmony”

Bishop Emmanuel Adetoyèse Badejo, President of the Pan African Episcopal Committee for Social Communications (CEPACS) and Local ordinary of Nigeria's Oyo Diocese. Credit: Oyo Diocese

On the occasion of the 57th World Communications Day (WCD) 2023 marked Sunday, May 21, the leadership of the Pan African Episcopal Committee for Social Communications (CEPACS) has called on Christian media practitioners on the continent to foster “family cohesion and harmony” in their professional practice.

In his reflection for WCD 2023 shared with ACI Africa, the President of CEPACS, Bishop Emmanuel Adetoyèse Badejo, underscores the value of the family.

“The family in Africa is the nursery of all good virtues: truthfulness, charity, courage, compassion, and selflessness,” Bishop Badejo says in his Sunday, May 21 reflection.

He adds, “It is within the family we begin to learn the language with which to communicate the truth in a non-threatening, charitable and peaceful way and thus help to develop mutual trust and harmony in the larger society,” 

“Today, I call on journalists and all who work with the media of communications to promote family cohesion and harmony even more so that the family can continue to provide the essential service for a better society and a better world,” the Local Ordinary of Nigeria’s Oyo Diocese further says.


“The family is also the formation workshop for our hearts and the first cradle of synodality,” he continues in his reflection on WCD 2023 marked under the theme, “Speaking with the heart :The truth in love” (Eph 4:15).

Established in 1967 by Pope Paul VI, WCD that provides an opportunity to reflect on the challenges and opportunities of modern means of communication is marked on the Sunday before Pentecost. 

Reflecting on the theme guiding WCD 2023 celebration, Bishop Badejo says, “Speaking the truth in love always requires the help of the Holy Spirit. All who engage with Communication, to be authentic and truthful must learn to invoke the Holy Spirit for assistance and strength in their work.”

The theme, the President of CEPACS says, “continues Pope Francis’ series of messages for the past years seeking to take all of us who engage the world of media and communications into a deeper harmonization of truth, the heart and love.”

“The theme goes further to draw us to the authentic seat of the truth within man. Seeing can be deceiving and listening might be distorted but the heart is the seat of authenticity,” he says, and continues, “It is impossible to have facts more genuinely given than when they are straight from the heart, or when people speak ‘heart to heart.’”

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The Nigerian Catholic Bishop who was appointed member of the Vatican Dicastery for Communication in December 2021 further says, “Pope Francis urges us to harmonize communication, one of the most powerful gifts which God gave to humanity, with the truth which liberates and to do so with love.”

“It would be a most powerful gift if we do, for love conquers all and will endure as the greatest of all virtues. Truth from the heart and love are inseparable for love compels us to be truthful,” he says in reference to WCD themes during the Papacy of Pope Francis.

The 61-year-old Nigerian Bishop who started his Episcopal Ministry in October 2007 as Coadjutor Bishop of Oyo Diocese continues, “This kind of communication which seeks to reconcile, to heal, to restore and to bring light is what families, the Church, and the world at large today really needs today if we would eliminate the conflict, injustice, violence, and indifference destroying much of humanity today.”

“Speaking the truth in love will often come at a cost because we must do so to a world of appearances, disinformation, distortions, fake news and even falsehood, he says.

Speaking truth in love, Bishop Badejo further says, “might bring rejection, insults and even persecution but we must be reminded that this is all foreseen.”


“If speaking the truth in love is so exacting, it is natural to be afraid and anxious at times when the truth portends suffering,” he says, adding, “We cannot achieve the delicate balance of speaking the truth and fostering peace, reconciliation, and unity by ourselves.”

Left alone, he says, “We cannot always manage to put our relationship with God and the neighbor at the center of all our relationships.”

“Our Christian duties to speak truth from the heart will therefore be enhanced if we make the Holy Spirit our constant ally. We need him to help us create a new language which can speak the truth authentically but lovingly and insistently,” the Local Ordinary of Nigeria’s Oyo Diocese says referencing the theme of WCD 2023.

He goes on to highlight events around Communications Week (COMWEEK), an initiative of Catholic Bishops in Nigeria, that was concluding on May 21, saying that in his Episcopal See, many families and schools are involved “in the celebration of this week on the importance and role of the family and school in engendering truthful and charitable communication.”

“No generation is lost if it uses the pains of the present to secure its future,” Bishop Badejo says in his May 21 reflection shared with ACI Africa.

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He adds, making reference to the ongoing preparations for the Synod on Synodality, “Despite numerous challenges of the present, we call on families to do more to create the synodal atmosphere where people especially the children and youth are groomed to listen to others more and to see through the eyes of others.”

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.