Archive | 2:38 am

The Church and Media of Social Communication

26 Nov

The Second Vatican Council (1962-65) promulgated two documents at the conclusion of its 1963 session. By far, the more influential (and controversial) of these documents was the Constitution on Sacred Liturgy, which we examined last week. The other document was the Decree on the Media of Social Communication (Inter Mirifica), the subject of today’s post.

Clearly in the 50 years since Inter Mirifica, there has been an explosion of new information technologies that create new opportunities—and challenges—for the Church. In the years since Vatican II, the Church has continued to develop her approach to this changing landscape, from the annual World Communications Day to her reaching out to those engaged in new media technologies at both the national and international level.

Despite the many changes in this sphere of human activity, Inter Mirifica does articulate some timeless principles that are just as applicable today as they were in the pre-Internet 1960s. The Council was clearly concerned about the responsible use of media to promote what is good, true, and beautiful. And clearly the Church has always seen advances in the field of mass communications as creating new, appropriate means of evangelization—from Vatican Radio in the 1930s to EWTN and now to the proliferation of Catholic blogs, podcasts, and apps. Continue reading