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Pontifical Council for Social Communications

Pontifical Council for Social Communications

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The Pontifical Council for Social Communications (Pontificium Consilium de Communicationibus Socialibus) is a dicastery
Dicastery
Dicastery is an Italicism sometimes used in English to refer to the Departments of the Roman Curia....

 of the Roman Curia
Roman Curia
The Roman Curia is the administrative apparatus of the Holy See and the central governing body of the entire Catholic Church, together with the Pope...

. 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
Pope John Paul II
Blessed Pope John Paul II , born Karol Józef Wojtyła , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City from 16 October 1978 until his death on 2 April 2005, at of age. His was the second-longest documented pontificate, which lasted ; only Pope Pius IX ...

 on June 28, 1988, it is responsible for using the various forms of the media
Mass media
Mass media refers collectively to all media technologies which are intended to reach a large audience via mass communication. Broadcast media transmit their information electronically and comprise of television, film and radio, movies, CDs, DVDs and some other gadgets like cameras or video consoles...

 in spreading the Gospel
Gospel
A gospel is an account, often written, that describes the life of Jesus of Nazareth. In a more general sense the term "gospel" may refer to the good news message of the New Testament. It is primarily used in reference to the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John...

.

The current President
President
A president is a leader of an organization, company, trade union, university, or country.Etymologically, a president is one who presides, who sits in leadership...

 of the Council for Social Communications is Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli
Claudio Maria Celli
Claudio Maria Celli , Titular Archbishop of Cluentum, is an Italian prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He currently serves as President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.-Biography:...

, appointed by Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI is the 265th and current Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the leader of the Catholic Church as well as the other 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Holy See...

 on June 27, 2007.

Role


According to Article 169 of the Apostolic Constitution
Apostolic constitution
An apostolic constitution is the highest level of decree issued by the Pope. The use of the term constitution comes from Latin constitutio, which referred to any important law issued by the Roman emperor, and is retained in church documents because of the inheritance that the canon law of the...

 on the Roman Curia, Pastor Bonus
Pastor Bonus
Pastor Bonus is an Apostolic Constitution promulgated by Pope John Paul II on 28 June 1988. It instituted a number of reforms in the process of running the central government of the Roman Catholic Church, as article 1 states "The Roman Curia is the complex of dicasteries and institutes which help...

, promulgated by Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II
Blessed Pope John Paul II , born Karol Józef Wojtyła , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City from 16 October 1978 until his death on 2 April 2005, at of age. His was the second-longest documented pontificate, which lasted ; only Pope Pius IX ...

 on June 28, 1988: "The Pontifical Council for Social Communications is involved in questions regarding the means of social communication
Social communication
The term social communication refers to using the so-called social media. However there is no standardised definition yet recognised. Generally communication requires a social nexus of at least two entities in a technical or just social relation...

, so that, also by these means, human progress and the message of salvation
Gospel
A gospel is an account, often written, that describes the life of Jesus of Nazareth. In a more general sense the term "gospel" may refer to the good news message of the New Testament. It is primarily used in reference to the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John...

 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 newspaper
Newspaper
A newspaper is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features and advertising. It usually is printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint. By 2007, there were 6580 daily newspapers in the world selling 395 million copies a...

s and periodicals, as well as film
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

s and radio
Radio
Radio is the transmission of signals through free space by modulation of electromagnetic waves with frequencies below those of visible light. Electromagnetic radiation travels by means of oscillating electromagnetic fields that pass through the air and the vacuum of space...

 or television
Television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

 broadcasts
Broadcasting
Broadcasting is the distribution of audio and video content to a dispersed audience via any audio visual medium. Receiving parties may include the general public or a relatively large subset of thereof...

, are more and more imbued with a human and Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 spirit."

History


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
Secretariat of State (Vatican)
The Secretariat of State is the oldest dicastery in the Roman Curia, the government of the Roman Catholic Church. It is headed by the Cardinal Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., and performs all the political and diplomatic functions of Vatican City and the Holy See...

 of Pope Pius XII
Pope Pius XII
The Venerable Pope Pius XII , born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli , reigned as Pope, head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican City State, from 2 March 1939 until his death in 1958....

. Bishop Martin John O'Connor
Martin John O'Connor
Martin John O'Connor was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as rector of the Pontifical North American College and president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications ....

 was appointed as its President
President
A president is a leader of an organization, company, trade union, university, or country.Etymologically, a president is one who presides, who sits in leadership...

 and its four original members including Monsignor Maurizio Raffa (representing the Sacred Congregation of the Council
Congregation for the Clergy
The Sacred Congregation for the Clergy is the congregation of the Roman Curia responsible for overseeing matters regarding priests and deacons not belonging to religious orders...

), Monsignor Ferdinando Prosperi (representative of the office Catholique International du Cinématographe and provisional Secretary
Secretary
A secretary, or administrative assistant, is a person whose work consists of supporting management, including executives, using a variety of project management, communication & organizational skills. These functions may be entirely carried out to assist one other employee or may be for the benefit...

 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
Vatican City
Vatican City , or Vatican City State, in Italian officially Stato della Città del Vaticano , which translates literally as State of the City of the Vatican, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. It has an area of...

.

On September 17, 1948, Pius XII approved the statutes of this new Curial
Roman Curia
The Roman Curia is the administrative apparatus of the Holy See and the central governing body of the entire Catholic Church, together with the Pope...

 office, which was then renamed the Pontifical Commission for Educational and Religious Films.

Current structure

  • President: Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli
    Claudio Maria Celli
    Claudio Maria Celli , Titular Archbishop of Cluentum, is an Italian prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He currently serves as President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.-Biography:...

  • Secretary: Monsignor Paul Tighe
  • Adjunct Secretary: Monsignor Guiseppe Scotti
  • Undersecretary: Dott. Comm. Angelo Scelzo

List of Presidents of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications

  • Martin John O'Connor
    Martin John O'Connor
    Martin John O'Connor was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as rector of the Pontifical North American College and president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications ....

     (1948–1971)
  • Agostino Ferrari Toniolo (Pro-President, 1969–1971)
  • Edward Louis Heston, CSC (1971–1973)
  • Andrzej Maria Deskur (1973–1984)
  • John Patrick Foley
    John Patrick Foley
    John Patrick Foley is an American Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. From 2007 until 2011, he was Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, having previously served as President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications from 1984 to 2007. He was...

     (1984–2007)
  • Claudio Maria Celli
    Claudio Maria Celli
    Claudio Maria Celli , Titular Archbishop of Cluentum, is an Italian prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He currently serves as President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.-Biography:...

    (2007–present)

External links