(The following is a summary of Inter Mirifica, of the Second Vatican Council. It retains the original preface and the chapter and numbering according to the actual ordered sections of the document.)


Chapter I – On the Teaching of the Church

1. Among the technological discoveries which men have made with God’s help, the Church welcomes and promotes those which have made direct relation to man’s mind and have uncovered new avenues of communicating news and teaching. Because these reach all of society, they can truly be called social media.

2. These media, if properly utilized, can be of great service to mankind. But men can employing these media contrary to the plan of the creator and to their own loss.

3. The Catholic Church considers it one of its duties to announce the good news of salvation with the help of media. It is an inherent right of the Church to have a disposal these media that are necessary for the instruction of Christians. It is the duty of pastors to instruct, and, with the help of these media, to further salvation and the perfection of themselves and the entire human family.

4. All who employ these media should be acquainted with the norms of morality and put them into practice, observing the circumstances, persons, places, and time in which they operate.

5. All parties should adopt proper moral outlook on the use of this media. Specifically, news must be communicated true and complete.

6. With the relations between rights and the arts, and also the norms of morality, all must observe the absolute primacy of the objective moral order. For man is endowed by God with the gift of reason and some men to pursue a lofty destiny.

7. The proper portrayal of moral evil can serve to bring about a deeper knowledge and study of humanity and can reveal and glorified the grand dimensions of truth and goodness.

8. In both private and public every member of society must fulfill the demands of justice and charity.

9. All who make use of these media ought to avoid those things that can cause spiritual harm and lead others to danger.

10. Young people especially, should take steps to accustom themselves to use self-control with this media.

11. The principle moral responsibility for proper use of media falls on those who produce, write, and distribute this media. They must adjust their inputs so it never opposes the common good.

12. The public authority has the duty of protecting and safeguarding of freedom of information. Moreover, this authority has the duty of helping projects that are beneficial for young people.

Chapter II – On the Pastoral Activity of the Church

13. All the children of the Church should join in a common work to make effective the use of social media communication. Pastors, to fulfill their duty in this respect, and the laity too, should work in this with an apostolic spirit.

14. First, a good press should be created in order to develop a fully Christian spirit in readers. Also the production of films radio and television programs should be encouraged.

15. To provide for the needs set forth here, priests, religious and lay men who are equipped with the proper skills for adapting in using these media to the objectives of the apostolate should be appointed promptly, and ought to be afforded technical, doctrinal, and moral training.

16. Programs which are suitable for the purpose of training those of different cultural backgrounds and ages should be encouraged.

17. It is wrong for the Church to idly let the message of salvation be impeded by technical delays or expense, and this council reminds the faithful of their obligation to maintain an assist those who produce these media.

18. Each year there should be celebrated a day on which the faithful are instructed in their responsibilities with the use of social media.

19. The Supreme Pontiff should have a special office whose duties and responsibilities are dedicated to the competence of the use of media.

20. It is the task of Bishops to watch over the undertaking of these media in their own diocese and to guide them.

21. National offices should be established everywhere to see to it that the consciences of the faithful are properly instructed with these media.

22. Since the effectiveness of this media reaches beyond national boundaries the office is spoken in Number 21 should work together.


23. So that the general principles and norms of this sacred synod be put into effect, the Holy See’s office mentioned a Number 19 should be developed and should issue a pastoral instruction.

24. The proper use of these media will become the salt and light, bringing flavor and brightness to the world, for the fate of men of good will depend on their proper use.

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Read the Vatican’s official version here.