Dear Pope Francis,
We are MISNA’s dedicated journalists, a small missionary agency that for over twenty years has reported about the “outskirts” of your beloved Africa, Asia and Latin America. Just a few days after Christmas, on December 31, this “voice of the voiceless” is at risk of being silenced.
In a decision that we see as both tragic and unexplainable, and symbolically like slamming that same Holy Door you opened in the Central African Republic’s capital Bangui, the Missionary Congregations, who own MISNA (Comboni Missionaries, Consolata Missionaries, Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions and Xaverian Missionaries), are choosing to suspend publication.
These are the same Missionary Congregations, spurred by a dynamic Comboni missionary, Fr. Giulio Albanese, who created this little but noteworthy missionary media source in 1997. “If every missionary in every corner of the world – from Congo to the “ends of the earth” – has a satellite phone, we will have a truly unique, independent and inspired report”: this was the idea behind the birth and foundation of MISNA, and that today, we still believe, is as relevant as ever. This is what motivates us with heart and commitment to try and change the approach to news.
Nevertheless, the Missionary Congregations, owning MISNA, now say that they are so “tired”, weighed down by costs and “at the end of their energies” to the point of feeling that the survival of their own creation is useless. This would be a terrible mistake: without MISNA, a heavy price will be paid by the young Churches, the suburbs and the civil societies calling for social justice, which is a precondition of peace. While the idolization of money silences the voice of the poor.
We begged in every possible way for our owners to sit at a table with us to find a solution. We offered to continue our work, cutting our salaries, to do everything – as laypeople, working alongside the missionaries – imaginable to keep MISNA alive. But our voices were also not heard.
Dear Francis, Hear our call.