Vatican Official Lauds African Catholic Journalists for Environmental Awareness

Some of the participants at the ongoing seminar organized by the Union of the African Catholic Press (UCAP) in Uganda. Credit: Charles Ndawula UCAP President Uganda

The Prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication has lauded Catholic Journalists in Africa under the umbrella body of the Union of the African Catholic Press (UCAP) for their dedication to address environmental issues.

In his message of greetings addressed to the participants at the ongoing refresher program on integral ecology in Uganda that UCAP organized in collaboration with the Uganda Episcopal Conference (UEC), Dr. Paolo Ruffini underlined the importance of unity in addressing issues related to the environment.

“Thanks for informing about your activities in order to enhance the capacity of media professionals to address environmental issues and propose truthful, effective, and integral approaches to the sustainable development of the African continent,” Dr. Ruffini said in his Monday, November 6 message at the Seminar that has been scheduled to end Saturday, November 11.

He added, “I am confident that you will catch this seminar's opportunity to take resolutions and strong commitment for raising more consciousness that ‘as part of the universe... all of us are linked by unseen bonds and together form a kind of universal family, a sublime communion which fills us with a sacred, affectionate and humble respect’”.

The six-day seminar has been organized under the theme, “Contribution of journalists and media practitioners for an integral ecology according to Pope Francis' encyclical ‘Laudato Si’.”


The main objective of the seminar is to “build the capacity of media professionals and propose effective approaches to solving environmental problems that are an integral part of sustainable development on the African continent.”

The event is also aimed at bringing together Catholic media professionals and lay journalists from across Africa to receive refresher training on working with the Church to develop sustainable mechanisms that promote environmental restoration and “allow ecosystems to function naturally.”

In his November 6 message, Dr. Ruffini reflected on the theme guiding the seminar and said that it “emphasizes how important the role of communication is in raising awareness of the epochal challenge we face and the role that each of us has in overcoming it together.”

He made reference to Pope Francis’ encyclical Letter Laudato Si' and Apostolic Exhortation Laudate Deum which talk about environmental conservation and underlined the need for Catholic journalists to create awareness on environmental concerns.

 “If communicators and journalists could help to raise more awareness in this delicate matter, it would be a strong and appreciable contribution because ‘the universe as a whole, in all its manifold relationships, shows forth the inexhaustible richness of God’” he said.

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The Vatican official also spoke about the importance of organizing events such as the ongoing seminar which he said “weaves the communion that unites us and rediscovers how important communication is in building a network of good.”

Reflecting further on excerpts from Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Laudate Deum on the Climate Crisis which was released on October 4, Dr. Ruffini said that the environmental crises highlighted therein can be addressed by concerted efforts.

“Only together, we can find adequate responses to the crisis we are facing, ‘while the world in which we live is collapsing and may be nearing the breaking point’” the head of the Dicastery for Communication said.

“May this seminar bear fruits for each of you, weave our communion, and increase more determination to push for major political decisions on the local, national, and international levels for the most effective possible solutions,” he said.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.