Media Resource Information

Media Articles and Church Documents

Jesus is the model and the standard of our communicating. For those involved in social communication, whether as policy makers or professional communicators or recipients or in any other role, the conclusion is clear: "Therefore, putting away falsehood, let every one speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another... Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion, that it may impart grace to those who hear" (Eph 4:25,29). Serving the human person, building up human community grounded in solidarity and justice and love, and speaking the truth about human life and its final fulfillment in God were, are, and will remain at the heart of ethics in the media.

Ethics in Communications – Archbishop John P. Foley

Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Fr. Hardon spoke about the Roman Catholic faith not from some sterile idealistic environment but from a current fast-paced, information-saturated world. Through all the confusion of anti-Catholic messages that bombard the public from every angle daily, Fr. Hardon kept a steady unshakable focus on God - His Truths and His Church. Here are a few of Fr. Hardon's media-related articles from conferences, talks and interviews he gave.

An Interview with Fr. Hardon by Anita C. Crane
Most zealous Catholics are not as well organized or cooperative as those in the world. One of the hardest things is to get orthodox Catholics to cooperate. For their own projects, God will bless them, but they are no match for the organized efforts of those on the other side. This is a weakness. Catholics must enter the media on all levels, they must provide sound doctrine, and authentic Catholics must cooperate with each other. Catholics must evangelize through print, film, radio, television, and now the Internet. The first medium is print. It is not necessarily the most influential, but it is the most lasting, and so it has the most lasting influence.

Christianity and the Communications Revolution
I would therefore like to rephrase the topic and expand it into a sentence, which might more accuratedly be called a thesis: "The Future of Christianity, Notably Its Evangelization, Gravely Depends on a Balanced Understanding of the Modern Communications Revolution." My plan is to briefly analyse the following elements of the topic: The two principal forms of communication; Revolutionary changes in each of these two forms; Significance of these changes for evangelization.

Detraction and Calumny
The immediate focus of the Eighth Commandment is falsehood that does injury to one's neighbor. Harm to another person's reputation, therefore, is the special prohibition of this divine mandate. A person's reputation may be injured in various ways, notably by detraction and calumny or slander. Detraction is the unjust violation of the good reputation of another by revealing something true about him. Calumny or slander differs from detraction in that what is said or imputed about a person is not true.

How Should Catholics Be Retrieved
Our present conference is on how, how should Catholics be retrieved who have lost either their faith or they have at least lapsed from the practice of their Catholic religion. Our first conference, you remember, was on why, why has there has been such widespread abandonment of the Catholic faith in one formally Christian country after another, including our own United States. We concluded that the faith was not so much lost as given up. And in many cases, not even given up, but never really grasped or understood in the first place.

Our Right to the Truth
The title of the present article, "Our Right to the Truth," has two basic implications: We have a right to the truth because, without the truth, we cannot be at peace in this life, nor reach our heavenly destiny in the life to come. But others also have a right to the truth, and this places a heavy obligation on us to share the truth that we possess. I would go so far as to say that the most fundamental duty we have in life is to love others by giving them what others have given to us, namely, a knowledge of the truth.

Second Commandment and Religious Communication
Our present meditation is still on the Second Commandment of the Decalogue on religious communication. You might ask yourselves what does this mean? It means that God wants us first of all to articulate our thoughts and desires to Him in prayer. And not only as we’ve seen, though of course also, but not only, by the internal movements of our mind and will directed towards God. God wants us to also communicate with Him with our bodily, sensibly perceptible, what we call vocal prayer. But the focus of our reflections is the third stage. God wants us also to communicate with others about Him. In other words He wants us to communicate not only to Him in prayer but about Him in our religious communication with others.

Talk on St. Thèrése of Lisieux
A catechist is useless unless he or she is a channel of grace. After all, the purpose of catechesis to change people’s lives. Instruction of the mind is given as a means for inspiring the will. The will is a blind, mute and deaf faculty without the mind—helpless. But then, inspiring the will means to move the will. After all the commandments of the Decalogue and of Christianity are sifted, the single most fundamental inspiration of the will is to move the human will from selfish love of self to selfless love of God and the selfless love of others out of love for God. That’s all—that’s all Christianity is finally about.

The Truth Crusade Series Volume I Side 1
Our Conference this evening is on the cost of sharing Christ. Our subtitle is the heart of St. Paul. It is impossible to read much of St. Paul's letters without being struck by the price he paid for his zeal in proclaiming Jesus Christ. So the descriptions he gives of the trial he experienced in the apostolate are among the most graphic in human literature and they are certainly most poignant in biblical revelation. Even in the distance of 1900 years we still shudder at what he wrote, what he underwent, and wonder how one man could suffer so much and survive so long as he did in preaching the word that God, announcing to every one that "Jesus is the Lord believe in Him and be saved."

The Truth Crusade Series Volume I Side 2
St. Paul's greatest trials, I repeat, St. Paul's greatest trials were not the physical hardships he endured. Although we know they were extreme, they were not the humanly impossible travels that he made. They were by any estimation, heroic. His worst anguish was the rejection he saw of Christ by those specially chosen who were God's chosen people of the Old Law.

The Urgent Call to Evangelization
This article will focus on both aspects of the modern media of communication. Our first stress is on the use of these media to exploit the philosophy of secularism to the incalculable damage of whole nations that had once been faithfully Christian, Our second and main focus is to begin to explore the breathtaking potential of the modern media to teach the whole world what Christ told His Father, "This is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ Whom you have sent" (John 17:3).


Church Documents - Pontifical Council for Social Communications

In order to understand the proper use of the media and the instruments of social communication it is necessary to spend some time learning what the Church taught on this subject. The following Church Documents are from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. These documents offer direction to those who make preparations for their World Communications Day events. All Catholics should familiarize themselves with the content in these documents.

The Rapid Development, Apostolic Letter of the Holy Father, John Paul II, to those responsible for Communications (January 24, 2005)

Ethics in Advertising, Intervention by Archbishop John P. Foley at the World Federation of Advertisers on its 50th anniversary, Brussels, Belgium (October 28, 2003).

The Church and the Internet, Pontifical Council for Social Communications (February 28, 2002).

Ethics in Internet, Pontifical Council for Social Communications (February 28, 2002).

Ethics in Communications, Pontifical Council for Social Communications (June 2, 2000).

Ethics in Advertising, Pontifical Council for Social Communications (February 22, 1999).

100 Years of Cinema, Pontifical Council for Social Communications (1995-1996).

Aetatis Novae, Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Pastoral Instructions on social communications on the twentieth anniversary of Communio et Progressio (February 22, 1992).

Criteria for ecumenical and inter-religious cooperation in communications (October 4, 1989).

Pornography and violence in the communications media: a pastoral response, Pontifical Council for Social Communications (May 7, 1989).

Guide to the training of future priests concerning the instruments of social communications, Congregation for Catholic Education (March 19, 1986).

An appeal to all contemplative Religious (June 3, 1973).

Communio et Progressio, Pastoral Instruction on the means of social communication written by order of the Second Vatican Council (May 23, 1971).

Inter Mirifica, Decree on the means of social communication (December 4, 1963).

Statute of the Vatican Film-Library, (November 16, 1959).

moto proprio, Apostolique Letter, Boni Pastoris (February 22, 1959).

Miranda Prorsus, Encyclical letter of His Holiness Pius XII by Divine Providence Pope (September 8, 1957).

Exortations of His Holiness, Pius XII to the representatives of the cinema world (June 21, 1955 – October 25, 1955).

Pontifical Commission for the Motion Pictures, Radio and Television (December 16, 1954).

Vigilanti cura, Encyclical Letter of Pope Pius XI on the Motion Picture (June 29, 1936).