VATICAN CITY (AP) _ Pope John Paul II said Thursday that electronic communications media should serve humanity and not be used to distort the truth or offend human dignity.

Addressing European broadcasting executives, the pope said radio and television possessed a ''tremendous potential for good.''

''At the same time, I am aware that the opposite possibility is also there, the ever greater capacity for evil, because of the temptation to use these sophisticated means of social communication in ways that distort the truth, or which offend the dignity and freedom of the human person,'' the pope said, speaking in English.

He urged the executives ''to seek always to place the electronic media at the service of humanity and the good of all'' and to be attentive to the cultural and religious values of their audiences.

The pope talked to participants in an administrative symposium of the European Broadcasting Union.