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Pope wants the media to focus on families, not sex

Pope John Paul II criticized the media on Saturday, saying they often give a positive depiction of extramarital sex, contraception, abortion and homosexuality that is harmful to society.

The pontiff, in a statement issued ahead of the Church's World Communications Day in May, urged the media to promote traditional family life.

"All communication has a moral dimension," his statement said. "People grow or diminish in moral stature by the words which they speak and the messages which they choose to hear."

But the pontiff, whose theme was "The Media and the Family: A Risk and a Richness" also had some positive words on the media.

"On the one hand, marriage and family life are frequently depicted in a sensitive manner, realistic but also sympathetic, that celebrates virtues like love, fidelity, forgiveness and generous self-giving for others," he said.

"On the other hand, the family and family life are all too often inadequately portrayed in the media," the pope added.