The truth of the Gospel leads to eternal life.

Obviously, there is here a question of the greatest importance with which our eternal salvation is very closely linked. As the Apostle of the Gentiles warns us, those who are "ever seeking knowledge yet never coming to a recognition of the truth," 5 who declare that the human mind can grasp no truth with complete certainty, and who reject the truths revealed by God which are essential for our eternal salvation, are beyond all doubt wandering miserably far from the teaching of Christ and the opinion of the Apostle of the Gentiles, who said: "Let us all recognise our common unity through faith in the Son of God... So we are no longer children, tossed to and for, and carried about with every wind of doctrine that human wickedness, human skill in fabricating lies, may propound. We are to follow the truth in charity, and so grow up in everything, into a due proportion with Christ who is our head; on him all the body depends; it is organized and unified by each contact with the source which supplies it; and thus, each limb receiving the active power it needs, it achieves its natural growth, building itself up through charity." 6

Obligations in respect to Truth -- in the Press...

Those who deliberately and wantonly attack the known truth, and in their speech, writing and action, employ the weapons of falsehood in order to attract and win over uneducated people, to mould the inexperienced and impressionable minds of the young and fashion them to their own way of thought, certainly are abusing the ignorance and innocence of others, and engaging in a practice wholly to be condemned.

In a special manner, then, We are compelled to exhort to a careful, exact and prudent exposition of the truth, those who by means of books, reviews, and daily papers, so abundant at the present time, make such a great contribution to the teaching and training of the minds of their fellow citiziens, especially the young, and to the moulding of their opinions and the regulating of their habits. These same men are gravely bound in duty not to disseminate lies, error, obscenity, but only the truth, and in particular to publicise that which leads, not to vice, but to good and virtuous practices.

With profound grief We behold that of which Our predecessor of immortal memory, Leo XIII, complained, "that falsehood is boldly creeping in... by weighty volumes and small books, by the fluttering pages of the newspapers and theatrical advertisements"; 7 We see "books and papers prepared to make a mockery of virtue and to give vice the place of honour." 8

... in Radio, Motion Pictures and Television.

At the present time also, as you well know, Venerable Brethren and dear children, to these are added radio broadcasts and motion pictures and television shows--and these last are easily available within the home. Granted that from these there can arise inspiration and encouragement to what is good and honorable and in accord with Christian virtue; yet often, alas, they can be the source of enticement to loose morals, to disorderly life, to the snares of error and treacherous vices, especially in the minds of the young. Consequently the weapons of truth and goodness must be marshalled against these instruments of harm, to the end that the strength of this great evil, which spreads its influence daily more widely, may be diligently and persistently held in check. It is therefore necessary to confront evil and erroneous writings with what is right and sound; against broadcasts motion pictures and television shows which incite to error or the attractions of vice, must be projected those which uphold truth and strive to preserve wholesome morality. In this way, these new arts which have so much power for harm, may be turned to the salvation and benefit of mankind and linked with honest pleasure, and provide a remedy from the very source whence the evil poison so often is supplied.



II Tim. III, 7.


Eph. IV, 13-16.


Epist. Saepenumero considerantes; A. L. vol. III, 1883. p. 262.


Epist. Exeunte iam anno; A. L. vol. VIII, 1888, p. 398.