The Spanish bishops’ Committee on Social Communications Media said last week that due to the influence of the media on young people, there needs to be an “ethical and moral reflection on the media” in schools, and therefore ethics in the media should be part of the school curriculum.
In their message for the 42nd World Communications Day to be marked on May 4, the bishops said they hoped a moral and ethical reflection on communications would be included in the curriculum of school religion classes and youth catechesis, as well as in the formation classes for parents and newlyweds.
We are not only “morally obliged” to defend ourselves “from the dangers of misusing the media,” the bishops said, “but also educate ourselves about appropriate ethical and moral criteria, according to the principles of Christian doctrine, that will help us to know how to chose what is true, good and beautiful.”
They also expressed their support for media professionals and business leaders who “day after day struggle to be free of the pressure from consumer and ideological interests.”
A courageous ethical position “prevents the media from becoming a ‘spokesman’ for economic materialism and ethical relativism,” the statement continued. When the media is an instrument of hope it contributes effectively “to literacy teaching and socialization,” to development and dialogue between peoples, the bishops said.
The bishops recognized as well the difficulties faced by “religious reporters in the private media” in a society that is estranged from God, “and where it seems there is only interest in what is scandalous and subjective about the Church, thus distorting her true image.”
However, “in a cultural world that’s so adverse to what is Catholic,” the presence of the Church and that of the Church’s media “is essential for the Church to have a voice in society and so that the traditional media and the new technologies are at the service of evangelization.”