Thursday, 5 December 2013

Celebrating Social Communications - The Golden Jubiliee of "Inter Mirifica"

Irish Bishop Brendan Leahy speaks about Inter Mirifica in the video.

Below is a brief reflection on the document the bulk of which comes from Fr. Cedric Prakash SJ: December 4th 2013 is the Golden Jubilee of "Inter Mirifica" (the Decree on the means of Social Communications) which is a key document in the life and message of the Second Vatican Council. Inter Mirifica focuses on the role of communications and the responsibility of the Church to monitor it. "The Church, our mother, knows that if these media are properly used they can be of considerable benefit to mankind. They contribute greatly to the enlargement and enrichment of men’s minds and to the propagation and consolidation of the kingdom of God. But the Church also knows that man can use them in ways that are contrary to the Creator’s design and damaging to himself. Indeed, she grieves with a mother’s sorrow at the harm all too often inflicted on society by their misuse." (#2)

Vatican II with "Inter Mirifica": for the first time designated for the Universal Church a special day and that is the observance of a day for communications. "To make the Church’s multiple apostolates in the field of social communication more effective, a day is to be set aside each year in every diocese, at the bishop’s discretion, on which the faithful will be reminded of their duties in this domain." (#18). This was later changed to ‘World Communications Day’ (normally the Sunday before Pentecost). The document not only ensured the establishment of an Office for Social Communications in the Church, but also for very powerful and relevant messages issued by the Holy Father every year, which is released to the world on January 24th, the Feast of St. Francis de Sales, the patron of Church Communications.

In September last, Pope Francis while addressing the Pontifical Council for Social Communications in Rome said "the Decree (Inter Mirifica) expresses the Church’s solicitude for communication in all its forms which are important tools in the work of evangelization". He went on further to say, "the world of Communications, more and more has become an ‘environment’ for many, one in which people communicate with one another expanding their possibilities for knowledge and relationship. I wish to underline these positive aspects notwithstanding the limits and the harmful factors that also exist and which we are all aware of."

This blog and similar are part of that attempt to communicate with the world and use the modern means of social communication to advance the Gospel.

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