Scottish Catholic bishops say morality is going from the media

By staff writers
April 28, 2008

In a message sent to all of Scotland's 500 Catholic parishes for the 42nd World Communications Day, Bishop Philip Tartaglia claims that "a fundamental disconnection between the provider and the consumer" has occurred in the media.

The bishop is writing in his capacity as president of the National Communications Commission of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland. The letter will be read at all Masses on Sunday, 4 May 2008.

In it, the Catholic leader suggests that "mass communications can fairly be charged with losing the ethical underpinning that once existed [in it]".

Bishop Tartaglia claims that "[w]hile the last national census showed that over two thirds of Scots described themselves as Christians, few of those who work in radio, television and the press share this identity."

Others have argued that while the nimonal number of Christians in the country is high, those actually prcaticing are smaller in number.

The letter endorses Pope Benedict's call for "info-ethics", similar to the discipline of bioethics in the field of medicine and scientific research.

"Analysing the ethical implications of how information is transmitted would help the media avoid becoming spokespersons for a secular and humanistic agenda", it claims.

"It is crucial that those who work in this field seek to understand the moral and ethical view of humanity shared by those of us who believe in God," says the bishop.

"Today, mass communications can fairly be charged with losing the ethical underpinning that once existed. It is a sad reality that those involved in the production and dissemination of much of our media content do not themselves share the religious or moral perspectives of their audience. There has occurred a fundamental disconnection between the provider and the consumer."

But humanists and non-religious media workers say that assuming anything not propagating Christianity is propaganda for them is itself a distorted view of reality.

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