Today we begin the final document of our one-year reading plan: the Decree on the Media of Social Communications. Though we are reading this document last, it was actually the second document promulgated (behind Sacrosanctum Concilium). These two documents were the only ones promulgated in the second year of the Council, which implies a quick consensus amongst the Council Fathers on this subject.
Though the means of social communications available now (50 years later) is substantially different than what was available back then, the general principles the Council Fathers lay down are remarkably timeless.
In the Introduction we read today, the Church recognizes the great increase in these new forms of social media which enable the communication of ideas to large masses of people. The Council Fathers recognize that these tools can be used well in service of the Church and also used poorly. Thus this document wants to answer the questions that arise in order that they may be used well.