Quote of the day – F. Tupper Saussy


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PLEASE TAKE NOTE: A brother whom I respect questions the truthfulness of Saussy’s words, so we are vetting and discussing them. Please see comments.

In 1964, Pope Paul VI amplified Miranda prorsus with the decree Inter mirifica (“Among the Wonders”), saying “it is the Church’s birthright to use and own … the press, the cinema, radio, television and others of a like nature.” Paul cited

“a special responsibility for the proper use of the means of social communication [which] 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…. They have power to direct mankind along a good path or an evil path by the information they impart and the pressure they exert. It will be for them to regulate the economic, political, and artistic values in a way that will not conflict with the common good….

The quality of entertainment’s content was decreed in a section of Inter mirifica encouraging “the chronicling, the description or the representation of moral evil [which] can, with the help of the means of social communication and with suitable dramatization, lead to a deeper knowledge and analysis of man and to a manifestation of the true and the good in all their splendor.” Embloldened by this papal decree, social communicators since 1965 have pushed the constitutional guarantees of “free speech” to the limit by chronicling, describing, and representing moral evil with such progressively vivid, repulsive, prurient, yet often appealing detail that entertainment has become, in the opinion of many, a veritable technological “how to” of moral evil…

F. Tupper Saussy 

“Chapter 9 ~ Securing Confidence,” Rulers of Evil: Useful Knowledge About Governing bodies, pp. 72-73, 1999, Ospray Bookmakers, Reno, Nevada.

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13 thoughts on “Quote of the day – F. Tupper Saussy

  1. That the power of the media was correctly described is good. The rest of the section quoted was a lie. Whether or not the Pope was the encouragement for the freedom of speech amendment is a new To me, but not unbelievable.

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    • Dan, if you will explain and after I vett the encyclicals, if Saussy is wrong about this I will take it down. I should have read them first. The links are to Italian Wiki – I need to change that – should link to Vatican. In the meantime, would you explain?

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        • Right, it is incredibly influential.

          Two things: Saussy did not give the entire quote, I found, as you can see in my other comment, and his excerpt was therefore misleading. Second, I did not complete the Saussy quote, which finishes this way:

          “It clearly does not lead audiences to a deeper appreciation of Holy Scripture. This fact identifies entertainment today as a successful Jesuit theatrical mission.”

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    • Dan, I have read Inter mirifica. Here is the whole of the section quoted in paragraph 3 of this post:

      “7. Finally, the narration, description or portrayal of moral evil, even through the media of social communication, can indeed serve to bring about a deeper knowledge and study of humanity and, with the aid of appropriately heightened dramatic effects, can reveal and glorify the grand dimensions of truth and goodness. Nevertheless, such presentations ought always to be subject to moral restraint, lest they work to the harm rather than the benefit of souls, particularly when there is question of treating matters which deserve reverent handling or which, given the baneful effect of original sin in men, could quite readily arouse base desires in them.”

      http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decree_19631204_inter-mirifica_en.html

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      • Undecided. His initial premise is so far afield from anything I’ve heard from any other Christian commentators, I put the book down and never went back to it. He certainly seems to have “stepped on some toes”. So it may be that there are evil people out there who use his argument as a justification for what they do.

        Liked by 1 person

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