Eamon Martin says ‘bad news’ is feeding fear and anxiety

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The leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Archbishop of Armagh, Eamon Martin, has called on the media to reject prejudice and report more ‘good news.’

The Derry man made the call after Pope Francis said a“vicious circle of anxiety” and “spiral of fear resulting from a constant focus on bad news” needed to be broken.

The Pope made the call last week on the Feast of Saint Francis de Sales, the patron saint of writers, editors and journalists.

Archbishop Martin said: “When I read Pope Francis’ message, I was struck by how timely it is in asking us all to engage in constructive forms of communication that reject prejudice towards others and foster a culture of encounter.

“When I look back at 2016 it seems to have been a year which carried a lot of bad news in the headlines and on the airwaves.”

The former St. Columb’s College principal said it’s not about ignoring suffering.

“What Pope Francis is inviting us to do is to work at overcoming that feeling of growing discontent and resignation that can at times generate apathy, fear or the idea that evil has no limits.

“Moreover, in a communications industry which thinks that good news does not sell, and where the tragedy of human suffering and the mystery of evil easily turn into entertainment, there is always the temptation that our consciences can be dulled or slip into pessimism,” said the Archbishop.