The discussion on the schema on social communication took place over three days from 23 November and was the least controversial topic to be discussed, writes Stefan Gigacz.
Indeed, René Stourm, introducing the discussion, joked that it was introduced to provide an opportunity for relaxation! But he was completely serious in his proposals.
‘There are three things that we have always kept in mind,’ Stourm noted:
a) We wanted to affirm that the Church has a duty to teach that it cannot fulfil … if does not place the press and other means of communications at its service;
b) We wanted to affirm the Church has a right to educate, and thus the duty to encourage the press… and the duty to remind all those … concerned by these obligations of their obligations and responsibilities…
c) We wanted to affirm that the work of the Church in this field must be coordinated… (Emphases added)
Such an organisation needs to be established at international, national and diocesan levels.
In other words, the Church’s work in the field of social communications must serve, educate and represent (or be coordinated), Stourm proposed, explicitly following the old Jocist formula.
Moreover, a major criticism of the schema, coming from those with a Specialised Catholic Action background, such as Cardinals Tarancon and Léger was that the media was an area more suitable for lay people than priests.
Stefan Gigacz, The Leaven in the Council, Chapter 7, The Council opens without Cardijn (Australian Cardijn Institute)