Avoid being used to discredit, insult opponents, Enugu Catholic bishop tells journalists

The Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Most Rev. Callistus Onaga, has called on journalists and other communication practitioners to avoid being used to discredit and insult opponents.

Onaga, who gave the advice at a Holy Mass celebrated to mark the the 57th World Communications Day, at the Holy Ghost Cathedral, Enugu, appealed to journalists to always avoid the use of hostile languages even in communicating the truth to people.

He said that the World Communications Day “is a day the Catholic Church set aside to commemorate communications as a whole – print media, electronic and social media.”

While presenting the message of Pope Francis themed, “Speaking With the Heart, The Truth in Love”, Bishop Onaga explained that, “the central idea is to see how we can communicate the truth .

“The message of the Pope is so essential , especially in this our country, Nigeria. When we speak the truth with love, the miracle of encounter is made because everybody will understand it if it is done with love.” 

Bishop Onaga advised journalists to always communicate their message to society without the “use of hostile languages,” stressing that “it’s necessary to overcome the tendency to discredit and insult opponents from the outside.

“Learn to keep quiet instead of raising too much dust. Say the truth in a very soft way so that it does not cause more harm. 

“Packaging the truth well shows that you are intelligent. It doesn’t show you are weak”.

He further said that true peace can only be built in mutual trust, adding that if journalists were communicating truth with love, in most cases, nothing bad would happen to them, urging them to communicate the truth that “would promote peace and help the true reconciliation amongst people.”

According to him, “Communicating with love is for everyone to speak the truth with charity. You don’t abuse people. We keep our tongues from speaking evil. With our tongues, we bless God, with the same tongue we curse people. It’s a kind of contradiction. Good conversation can build bridges.”

Advising the media workers not to make human relationships toxic through their communications, Bishop Onaga further said, “Don’t make relationship toxic. Something that is toxic is poisonous. Communication helps people to easily reflect the reality in which they live.”

“We need communicators who are open to dialogue. Continue to tell the truth. Don’t depend on hearsay. What should be communicated should be able to resolve misunderstanding and bring peace,” said Bishop Onaga, who added that “in order to speak well ,it is enough to love well . We should also communicate our anger with love.” 


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