Pontifical Council for Social Communications
|This article is part of a series on the|
|Secretariat of State|
The Pontifical Council for Social Communications (Pontificium Consilium de Communicationibus Socialibus) is a dicastery of the Roman Curia. First established by Pope Pius XII in 1948 and later given wider jurisdiction and new names by successive popes, most recently by Pope John Paul II on June 28, 1988, it is responsible for using the various forms of the media in spreading the Gospel.
According to Article 169 of the Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia, Pastor Bonus, promulgated by Pope John Paul II on June 28, 1988: "The Pontifical Council for Social Communications is involved in questions regarding the means of social communication, so that, also by these means, human progress and the message of salvation may benefit secular culture and mores." Article 170 also states that: "The chief task of this Council is to encourage and support in a timely and suitable way the action of the Church and her members in the many forms of social communication. It takes care to see that newspapers and periodicals, as well as films and radio or television broadcasts, are more and more imbued with a human and Christian spirit."
The PCSC began as the Pontifical Commission for the Study and Ecclesiastical Evaluation of Films on Religious or Moral Subjects, established on January 30, 1948 by the Secretariat of State of Pope Pius XII. Bishop Martin John O'Connor was appointed as its President and its four original members including Monsignor Maurizio Raffa (representing the Sacred Congregation of the Council), Monsignor Ferdinando Prosperi (representative of the office Catholique International du Cinématographe and provisional Secretary of the new Commission), Giacomo Ibert, and Ildo Avetta. The Commission was housed in a single room at the Palazzo San Carlo in Vatican City.
On September 17, 1948, Pius XII approved the statutes of this new Curial office, which was then renamed the Pontifical Commission for Educational and Religious Films.