Dear confreres and friends,
Greetings from Angola where I am carrying out the Extraordinary Visitation in the name of the Rector Major. This is a people rich in human qualities and natural wealth, where the Salesian charism is putting down roots to become a fine tree bearing the good fruits of salvation for the young.
I have been most concerned, along with the missionaries and indeed the people of Angola, to hear of what has recently occurred in Japan, the most technologised country in the world, where nature has shown that we are not masters in absolute control of everything, and that technology can even turn against us when respect for the processes and the truth is either forgotten or manipulated. Our prayer goes with them and we feel close to the sorrow and suffering of the Japanese people.
I must also comment that here I find myself in a situation of severely restricted information either for lack of opportunity or possibility, or through lack of electricity and Internet service. It gives cause for thought, on the one hand, about the importance of being creative in seeking opportunities within the limitations of the situation, and using these without either complaint or desperation. On the other hand, the circumstances here make you see the importance of new technologies for uniting the world in respect and valuing cultures without making a western viewpoint the only or best way of seeing things.
Given what I have just said, and now that we are in Lent, it seems to me that also where communication and its technologies are concered, the processes and rhythms of God’s salvation should not be seen along the same lines as the processes and rhythms of social, political, economic and scientific development … the aforementioned events make us realise that communication is more than information, and that humanity is more than development.
Finally, I wish to let you know that our updated SSCS is in its final stages of translation and that as soon as this has been comnpleted, Fr Julian Fox will see it is made available to you.
My prayer and best wishes,
Fr Filiberto González Plasencia sdb
General Councillor for Social Communications