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Reflections: Notable Catholic Laity Section

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Better to Be Child of God Than King

Bold Proclamation of Truth by Learned and Distinguished Men

Catholic Writers

Catholics Should Not Refuse to Administer Public Affairs

The Company of Good People

The Entertainment & Communications Industries

Fame Does Not Make Man Happy

Fame is "A Thing Full of Wind"

Fame is Easily Ruined

Influential Persons and Public Opinion

Man's Happiness Not in Fame or Glory

Powerful Force of Those Higher on the Social Scale

Prominent Citizens May Effectively Help Promote the Well-being of People

Rulers and the Duty of Obedience to the Rule of Christ

Severe Judgment For Rulers

Those Who Govern Should be Held in High Estimation

Those Who Sin Publicly

Unlawful to Publicly Reject the Authority of the Church

Who One's Public Really Is

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Better to Be Child of God Than King

"It is better to be the child of God than king of the whole world." (St. Aloysius Gonzaga)

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Bold Proclamation of Truth by Learned and Distinguished Men

"For there is nothing which We believe to be more needful than that truth should find defenders more powerful and more numerous than the enemies it has to face; nor is there anything which is better calculated to impress the masses with respect for truth than to see it boldly proclaimed by learned and distinguished men." (Pope Leo XIII, "Providentissimus Deus", 1893)

Also See: Catholics Should Not Refuse to Administer Public Affairs | Influential Persons and Public Opinion | Powerful Force of Those Higher on the Social Scale | Prominent Citizens May Effectively Help Promote the Well-being of People

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Catholic Writers

Also See: Catholic Books (Topic Page)

"Can. 1386 § 1 Secular clerics are forbidden, without the consent of their Ordinaries, [and likewise] religious without the permission of their major Superiors and local Ordinaries, to edit books that treat of profane [secular] things and to write for or supervise newspapers, pamphlets, and periodical literature. § 2 Neither shall laity, unless persuaded by just and reasonable cause approved by the local Ordinary, write for newspapers, pamphlets or periodical literature that is accustomed to attacking the Catholic religion or good morals." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"It is self-evident that Catholic writers must earn their popularity and following by the high standard of their work." (Pope Paul VI)

Also See: The Entertainment & Communications Industries | Catholic Book Review & Exchange (Reflections)

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Catholics Should Not Refuse to Administer Public Affairs

"Catholics skilled in public affairs and adequately enlightened in faith and Christian doctrine should not refuse to administer public affairs since by doing this in a worthy manner they can both further the common good and at the same time prepare the way for the Gospel." (Second Vatican Council)

Also See: Bold Proclamation of Truth by Learned and Distinguished Men | Influential Persons and Public Opinion | Powerful Force of Those Higher on the Social Scale | Prominent Citizens May Effectively Help Promote the Well-being of People | Rulers and the Duty of Obedience to the Rule of Christ

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The Company of Good People

"What a great favor God does to those whom He places in the company of good people!" (St. Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church)

Also See: Saints Section (Reflections) | Priests & Vocations Section (Reflections) | Catholic Life (Reflections)

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The Entertainment & Communic-

ations Industries

"There is a duty of conscience binding the spectators who, each time they buy a ticket of admission, - as it were casting a vote - make choice of good or bad motion pictures; a similar duty, and even more so, binds those who manage movie theatres or distribute the films." (Pope Pius XII, "Miranda Prorsus", 1957)

"Television personnel - executives and managers, producers and directors, writers and researchers, journalists, on-camera performers and technical workers - all have serious moral responsibilities to the families that make up such a large part of their audience. In their professional and personal lives, those who work in television should be committed to the family as society's basic community of life, love and solidarity. Recognizing the influence of the medium in which they work, they should promote sound moral and spiritual values, and avoid 'anything that could harm the family in its existence, its stability, its balance and its happiness' including 'eroticism or violence, the defense of divorce or of antisocial attitudes among young people'" (Pope John Paul II)

"Since, therefore, there is question of bringing the Motion Picture industry into line with sounder policies, that is no slight responsibility which rests on the actors; they, indeed, remembering their dignity as human beings and as experienced artists, should know that they are not permitted to lend their talents to parts in plays, or to be connected with the making of films, which are contrary to sound morals. But an actor, having gained a famous name by his talent and skill, ought to use that renown which he has justly won in such a way that he inspires the mind of the public with noble sentiments; in particular, he should remember to give a notable example of virtue to others in his private life. When addressing professional actors on one occasion in the past, We made this assertion: 'Everyone can see that, in the presence of a throng of people listening open-mouthed to your words, applauding and shouting, your own feelings are stirred and filled with a certain joy and exaltation'. But if it can be said that someone is fully justified in feeling these emotions, yet it does not follow that Christian actors may accept from their audience expressions of praise which savor of a type of idolatry, since, in this case also, Our Savior's words apply: 'So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father Who is in heaven'." (Pope Pius XII, "Miranda Prorsus", 1957 A.D.)

"As to the motion picture industry itself, We exhort the Bishops of all countries, but in particular you, Venerable Brethren, to address an appeal to those Catholics who hold important positions in this industry. Let them take serious thought of their duties and of the responsibility which they have as children of the Church to use their influence and authority for the promotion of principles of sound morality in the films which they produce or aid in producing. There are surely many Catholics among the executives, directors, authors, and actors who take part in this business, and it is unfortunate that their influence has not always been in accordance with their Faith and with their ideals. You will do well, Venerable Brethren, to pledge them to bring their profession into harmony with their conscience as respectable men and followers of Jesus Christ." (Pope Pius XI, "Vigilanti Cura", 1936)

"A special responsibility for the proper use of the means of social communication rests on journalists, writers, actors, designers, producers exhibitors, distributors, operators, sellers, critics - all those, in a word, who are involved in the making and transmission of communications in any way whatever. It is clear that a very great responsibility rests on all of these people in today's world: they have power to direct mankind along a good path or an evil path by the information they impart and the pressure they exert." (Second Vatican Council)

"We are well aware of the magnitude of the difficulties which today confront those engaged in the Motion Picture industry because of - in addition to other considerations - the great increase in the use of television. Yet, even when confronted by these difficult circumstances, they must remember that they are forbidden in conscience to present film programs which are contrary to the Faith and sound morals, or to enter into contracts by which they are forced to present shows of this kind. But since in many countries, men engaged in this industry have bound themselves not to exhibit, for any consideration, film programs which might be harmful or evil, We trust that the excellent initiative will spread to all parts of the world, and that no Catholic in cinema management will hesitate to follow such sane and salutary proposals." (Pope Pius XII, "Miranda Prorsus", 1957)

"We therefore give a fatherly warning to Catholic film directors and producers, not to permit films to be made which are opposed to the Faith or Christian morals; but if, - which God forbid - this should happen, it is the duty of the Bishops to admonish them, and, if necessary, to impose appropriate sanctions. But We are convinced that, to bring the Motion Pictures to the heights of the "ideal film", nothing is more effective than for those engaged in film production to act in conformity with the commandments of Christian law. Let those responsible for making films approach the sources from which all the highest gifts flow, let them master the Gospel teaching, and make themselves familiar with the Church's traditional doctrine on the certainties of life, on happiness and virtue, on sorrow and sin, on body and soul, on social problems and human desires; they will then obtain new and excellent plots which they may adopt, and they will feel themselves inspired by a fresh enthusiasm to produce works of lasting value." (Pope Pius XII, "Miranda Prorsus", 1957)

"The counsel which We have given to theatre managers We wish to apply also to the distributors who, since they sometimes contribute financially to the making of the actual films, have obviously a greater opportunity and, consequently, are bound by a more serious obligation, of giving their support to reputable films. For distribution cannot be in any sense reckoned as a technical function of the business, since films - as We have often stated - are not only to be regarded as articles for sale, but also, and this is more important, to be considered as food for the mind and, as it were, a means of spiritual and moral training for the ordinary people. So distributors and hirers share to the same degree in merit and responsibility according as something good or evil results from the screen." (Pope Pius XII, "Miranda Prorsus", 1957)

"Moreover, We desire to extend Our thanks to all upright directors and producers of radio programs for their fair assessment of the needs of the Church to which many of them have borne testimony, either by freely assigning a suitable time for the propagation of God's Word, or by supplying the necessary equipment. By this way of acting, they are certainly sharing in the special reward of apostolic work, even though it is being carried out over the air, according to Our Lord's promise: 'Who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet, will receive the reward of a prophet'." (Pope Pius XII, "Miranda Prorsus", 1957)

"But We earnestly desire, Venerable Brethren, that these technical instruments, by which eyes and ears are easily and pleasantly attracted to events happening far away, should be employed to a particular end, namely, to provide men with a broader cultural background in the knowledge necessary for the fulfillment of their duties, and above all, in Christian principles. If these principles are neglected, there can be no progress worthy of the name, even in merely human matters. We desire, therefore, to pay due tribute of praise to all those who, whether by films or sound broadcasting or television shows, direct their efforts towards this most honorable goal." (Pope Pius XII, "Miranda Prorsus", 1957)

"[P]lay is necessary for the intercourse of human life. Now whatever is useful to human intercourse may have a lawful employment ascribed to it. Wherefore the occupation of play-actors, the object of which is to cheer the heart of man, is not unlawful in itself; nor are they in a state of sin provided that their playing be moderated, namely that they use no unlawful words or deeds in order to amuse, and that they do not introduce play into undue matters and seasons. And although in human affairs, they have no other occupation in reference to other men, nevertheless in reference to themselves, and to God, they perform other actions both serious and virtuous, such as prayer and the moderation of their own passions and operations, while sometimes they give alms to the poor. Wherefore those who maintain them in moderation do not sin but act justly, by rewarding them for their services. on the other hand, if a man spends too much on such persons, or maintains those comedians who practice unlawful mirth, he sins as encouraging them in their sin. Hence [St.] Augustine says (Tractatus 100 in Joannis) that 'to give one's property to comedians is a great sin, not a virtue'; unless by chance some play-actor were in extreme need, in which case one would have to assist him, for [St.] Ambrose says (De Officiis ministorum; quoted in Canon Pasce, distinction 86): 'Feed him that dies of hunger; for whenever thou canst save a man by feeding him, if thou hast not fed him, thou hast slain him.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

Also See: Catholic Writers | Fun & Activities Section (Reflections) | Catholic Events (Reflections) | News (Reflections)

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Fame Does Not Make Man Happy

"[F]ame can nowise make man happy." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

Also See: Fame is 'A Thing Full of Wind' (Reflections)

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Fame is "A Thing Full of Wind"

"What men call fame is, after all, but a thing full of wind. A man thinks that many are praising him, and talking only of him, and yet they spend but a very small part of the day thinking of him, being occupied with things of their own." (St. Thomas More)

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Fame is Easily Ruined

"Fame has no stability; in fact, it is easily ruined by false report." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

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Influential Persons and Public Opinion

"Those who exert influence because of the office they hold or because of their natural talent or for any other reason, have an important part to play in forming public opinion: they help to do so whenever they express their views. The greater their quality of leadership, the greater is their responsibility to exert it in this way." (Pope Paul VI)

Also See: Bold Proclamation of Truth by Learned and Distinguished Men | Catholics Should Not Refuse to Administer Public Affairs | Powerful Force of Those Higher on the Social Scale | Prominent Citizens May Effectively Help Promote the Well-being of People | Rulers and the Duty of Obedience to the Rule of Christ | Unlawful to Publicly Reject the Authority of the Church

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Man's Happiness Not in Fame or Glory

"[M]an's happiness does not consist in fame or glory." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

Also See: Fame is 'A Thing Full of Wind' (Reflections)

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Powerful Force of Those Higher on the Social Scale

"Let them show, also, examples of virtue, so as to prove that a Christian is a hater of idleness and self indulgence, that he stands firm and unconquered in the midst of adversity. Examples of that kind have a power of moving people to dispositions of soul that make for salvation, and have all the greater force as the condition of those who give them is higher in the social scale." (Pope Leo XIII, "Graves De Communi Re", 1901)

Also See: Bold Proclamation of Truth by Learned and Distinguished Men | Catholics Should Not Refuse to Administer Public Affairs | Prominent Citizens May Effectively Help Promote the Well-being of People

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Prominent Citizens May Effectively Help Promote the Well-being of People

"Especially must there be appeals to the kindly assistance of those whose rank, wealth, and intellectual as well as spiritual culture give them a certain standing in the community. If their help is not extended, scarcely anything can be done which will help in promoting the well-being of the people. Assuredly, the more earnestly many of those who are prominent citizens conspire effectively to attain that object, the quicker and surer will the end be reached." (Pope Leo XIII, "Graves De Communi Re", 1901)

Also See: Bold Proclamation of Truth by Learned and Distinguished Men | Influential Persons and Public Opinion | Powerful Force of Those Higher on the Social Scale

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Rulers and the Duty of Obedience to the Rule of Christ

"If, therefore, the rulers of nations wish to preserve their authority, to promote and increase the prosperity of their countries, they will not neglect the public duty of reverence and obedience to the rule of Christ." (Pope Pius XI, "Quas primas", December 11, 1925 A.D.)

Also See: Severe Judgment For Rulers | Unlawful to Publicly Reject the Authority of the Church

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Severe Judgment For Rulers

"We must plead with God to grant that the rulers of nations may love wisdom, so that the severe judgment of the Holy Spirit may never fall on them: 'Because being ministers of His Kingdom you have not judged rightly, nor kept the law of Justice, nor walked according to the will of God; horribly and speedily will he appear to you; for a most severe judgment shall be for them that bear rule. For to him that is little, mercy shall be granted; but the mighty shall be mightily tormented. For God will not except any man's person, neither will he stand in awe of any man's greatness; for he made the little and the great, and he hath equally care of all. But a greater punishment is ready for the more mighty. To you, therefore, O Kings, these are my words, that you may learn wisdom and not fall from it.'" (Pope Pius XII, "Mystici Corporis Christi", 1943)

Also See: Rulers and the Duty of Obedience to the Rule of Christ | Unlawful to Publicly Reject the Authority of the Church

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Those Who Govern Should be Held in High Estimation

"Some there must be who devote themselves to the work of the commonwealth, who make the laws or administer justice, or whose advice and authority govern the nation in times of peace, and defend it in war. Such men clearly occupy the foremost place in the State, and should be held in highest estimation, for their work concerns most nearly and effectively the general interests of the community. Those who labor at a trade or calling do not promote the general welfare in such measure as this, but they benefit the nation, if less directly, in a most important manner." (Pope Leo XIII, "Rerum Novarum", 1891)

Also See: Catholics Should Not Refuse to Administer Public Affairs | Prominent Citizens May Effectively Help Promote the Well-being of People | Rulers and the Duty of Obedience to the Rule of Christ | Severe Judgment For Rulers 

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Those Who Sin Publicly

Also See: Sin (Topic Page)

"The apostle admonishes that those who sin publicly are to be reproved openly. When, therefore, any one has, publicly and in the sight of many, committed a crime, whereby there is no doubt that others have been offended and scandalized; there must needs be publicly imposed upon him a penance suitable to the measure of his guilt; that so those whom he has allured to evil manners by his example, he may bring back to an upright life by the testimony of his amendment. The bishop, however, may, when he judges it more expedient, commute this kind of public penance into one that is secret." (Council of Trent)

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Unlawful to Publicly Reject the Authority of the Church

"Further, it is unlawful to follow one line of conduct in private life and another in public, respecting privately the authority of the Church, but publicly rejecting it; for this would amount to joining together good and evil, and to putting man in conflict with himself; whereas he ought always to be consistent, and never in the least point nor in any condition of life to swerve from Christian virtue." (Pope Leo XIII, "Immortale Dei", 1885)

Also See: Rulers and the Duty of Obedience to the Rule of Christ | Severe Judgment For Rulers

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Who One's Public Really Is

"Do not try to please everybody. Try to please God, the angels, and the saints - they are your public." (St. John Vianney)

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Misc. 

"[G]lory will be the downfall of those who think earthly things are important." (Pope Clement XIII, "A Quo Die", 1758)

"For can any thing be more low and debased than those who grovel in riches and power, and count them great things?" (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"Indeed it is greatly to be desired that those men would rightly esteem and would make due provision for life everlasting, whose industry or talents or rank have put it in their power to shape the course of human events. But alas! we see with sorrow that such men too often proudly flatter themselves that they have conferred upon this world as it were a fresh lease of life and prosperity, inasmuch as by their own energetic action they are urging it on to the race for wealth, to a struggle for the possession of commodities which minister to the love of comfort and display. And yet, whithersoever we turn, we see that human society, if it be estranged from God, instead of enjoying that peace in its possessions for which it had sought, is shaken and tossed like one who is in the agony and heat of fever; for while it anxiously strives for prosperity, and trusts to it alone, it is pursuing an object that ever escapes it, clinging to one that ever eludes the grasp. For as men and states alike necessarily have their being from God, so they can do nothing good except in God through Jesus Christ, through whom every best and choicest gift has ever proceeded and proceeds." (Pope Leo XIII, "Mirae Caritatis", 1902)

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