“Rather, the message is that as disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to be leaven in society, and, therefore, in the media.”
The U.S. Catholic bishops issued a 1998 statement entitled “Renewing the Mind of the Media: A Statement on Overcoming the Exploitation of Sex and Violence in Communications.”
The bishops’ media pledge reads: “The communications media are a God-given gift able to bring truth and beauty into our lives. We, the Catholic people of the United States, united in our families, parishes and dioceses, pledge to work together to encourage all those responsible for the media we use each day to carry out their service responsibly and to eliminate that which diminishes our appreciation of God’s image in creation. We pledge to encourage in all forms of media — television, radio, film, video, telephone, cable services, print, advertising and the Internet — whatever upholds moral values, strengthens families and promotes a just and peaceful society. We also pledge to reject media that produce immoral content and demean the dignity of the human person.”
Parishioners were asked to contemplate for a week how they would like to participate in the campaign, and this weekend return the bottom portion of the pledge to their church and place it in the collection basket. Each parish will gather the pledge cards and send them to the Diocesan Communications Office. Catholics were also invited to indicate their support for the campaign by logging onto www.renewingmedia.org.
Suggested pledge activities included the following:
• Contact a media outlet to approve or disapprove of a particular program, recording, video, movie, publication or web site.
• Use media together with my family — watch a TV program, go to a movie, share a Catholic newspaper or magazine article, view a Web site — and discuss its meaning and implication for our lives.
• Trade one hour a week using media for an hour in prayer.
• Seek out and use media that explore faith and spiritual issues.
• Skip a few movies or rental videos and use the money saved to help someone in need.
• Monitor the amount of time my family spends on the Internet and pay particular attention to the web sites that my children may explore.
• Use reliable sources for evaluating what movies and television programs to watch such as the Catholic bishops’ Film and Broadcasting Office’s movie review line (1-800-311-4CCC).
• Offer an explanation the next time I tell my children not to watch or read something.
(This article courtesy of the Arlington Catholic Herald.)