Cathechism of the Catholic Church

Catechism of the Catholic Church

APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION FIDEI DEPOSITUM ON THE PUBLICATION OF THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

 

To my Venerable Brothers the cardinals, Patriarchs, Archbishops, Bishops, Priests, Deacons, and to all the People of God.

GUARDING THE DEPOSIT OF FAITH IS THE MISSION WHICH THE LORD ENTRUSTED TO HIS CHURCH, and which she fulfills in every age. The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, which was opened 30 years ago by my predecessor Pope John XXIII, of happy memory, had as its intention and purpose to highlight the Church’s apostolic and pastoral mission, and by making the truth of the Gospel shine forth to lead all people to seek and receive Christ’s love which surpasses all knowledge (cf. Eph 3:19).

The principal task entrusted to the Council by Pope John XXIII was to guard and present better the precious deposit of Christian doctrine in order to make it more accessible to the Christian faithful and to all people of good will. For this reason the Council was not first of all to condemn the errors of the time, but above all to strive calmly to show the strength and beauty of the doctrine of the faith. “Illumined by the light of this Council”, the Pope said, “the Church. . . will become greater in spiritual riches and gaining the strength of new energies therefrom, she will look to the future without fear. . . Our duty is to dedicate ourselves with an earnest will and without fear to that work which our era demands of us, thus pursuing the path which the Church has followed for 20 centuries.” With the help of God, the Council Fathers in four years of work were able to produce a considerable number of doctrinal statements and pastoral norms which were presented to the whole Church. There the Pastors and Christian faithful find directives for that “renewal of thought, action, practices and moral virtue, of joy and hope, which was the very purpose of the Council”.

After its conclusion, the Council did not cease to inspire the Church’s life. In 1985 I was able to assert, “For me, then – who had the special grace of participating in it and actively collaborating in its development – Vatican II has always been, and especially during these years of my Pontificate, the constant reference point of my every pastoral action, in the conscious commitment to implement its directives concretely and faithfully at the level of each Church and the whole Church.”3

In this spirit, on 25 January 1985, I convoked an extraordinary assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the 20th anniversary of the close of the Council. The purpose of this assembly was to celebrate the graces and spiritual fruits of Vatican II, to study its teaching in greater depth in order that all the Christian faithful might better adhere to it, and to promote knowledge and application of it.

On that occasion the Synod Fathers stated: “Very many have expressed the desire that a catechism or compendium of all Catholic doctrine regarding both faith and morals be composed, that it might be, as it were, a point of reference for the catechisms or compendiums that are prepared in various regions. The presentation of doctrine must be biblical and liturgical. It must be sound doctrine suited to the present life of Christians.”4 After the Synod ended, I made this desire my own, considering it as “fully responding to a real need of the universal Church and of the particular Churches”.5

For this reason we thank the Lord whole-heartedly on this day when we can offer the entire Church this “reference text” entitled the Catechism of the Catholic Church, for a catechesis renewed at the living sources of the faith!
Following the renewal of the Liturgy and the new codification of the canon law of the Latin Church and that of the Oriental Catholic Churches, this catechism will make a very important contribution to that work of renewing the whole life of the Church, as desired and begun by the Second Vatican Council. 1. The Process and Spirit of Drafting the Text
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the result of very extensive collaboration; it was prepared over six years of intense work done in a spirit of complete openness and fervent zeal.
In 1986, I entrusted a commission of twelve Cardinals and Bishops, chaired by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, with the task of preparing a draft of the catechism requested by the Synod Fathers. An editorial committee of seven diocesan Bishops, experts in theology and catechesis, assisted the commission in its work.
The commission, charged with giving directives and with overseeing the course of the work, attentively followed all the stages in editing the nine subsequent drafts. The editorial committee, for its part, assumed responsibility for writing the text, making the emendations requested by the commission and examining the observations of numerous theologians, exegetes and catechists, and above all, of the Bishops of the whole world, in order to produce a better text. In the committee various opinions were compared with great profit, and thus a richer text has resulted whose unity and coherence are assured.
The project was the object of extensive consultation among all Catholic Bishops, their Episcopal Conferences or Synods, and theological and catechetical institutes. As a whole, it received a broadly favorable acceptance on the part of the Episcopate. It can be said that this Catechism is the result of the collaboration of the whole Episcopate of the Catholic Church, who generously accepted my invitation to share responsibility for an enterprise which directly concerns the life of the Church. This response elicits in me a deep feeling of joy, because the harmony of so many voices truly expresses what could be called the “symphony” of the faith. The achievement of this Catechism thus reflects the collegial nature of the Episcopate; it testifies to the Church’s catholicity.
2. Arrangement of the Material.
A catechism should faithfully and systematically present the teaching of Sacred Scripture, the living Tradition in the Church and the authentic Magisterium, as well as the spiritual heritage of the Fathers, Doctors and saints of the Church, to allow for a better knowledge of the Christian mystery and for enlivening the faith of the People of God. It should take into account the doctrinal statements which down the centuries the Holy Spirit has intimated to his Church. It should also help to illumine with the light of faith the new situations and problems which had not yet emerged in the past.
This catechism will thus contain both the new and the old (cf. Mt 13:52), because the faith is always the same yet the source of ever new light.
To respond to this twofold demand, the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the one hand repeats the “old”, traditional order already followed by the Catechism of St. Pius V, arranging the material in four parts: the Creed, the Sacred Liturgy, with pride of place given to the sacraments, the Christian way of life, explained beginning with the Ten Commandments, and finally, Christian prayer. At the same time, however, the contents are often presented in a “new” way in order to respond to the questions of our age.
The four parts are related one to another: the Christian mystery is the object of faith (first part); it is celebrated and communicated in liturgical actions (second part); it is present to enlighten and sustain the children of God in their actions (third part); it is the basis for our prayer, the privileged expression of which is the Our Father, and it represents the object of our supplication, our praise and our intercession (fourth part).
The Liturgy itself is prayer; the confession of faith finds its proper place in the celebration of worship. Grace, the fruit of the sacraments, is the irreplaceable condition for Christian living, just as participation in the Church’s Liturgy requires faith. If faith is not expressed in works, it is dead (cf. Jas 2:14-16) and cannot bear fruit unto eternal life. In reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church we can perceive the wonderful unity of the mystery of God, his saving will, as well as the central place of Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, sent by the Father, made man in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit, to be our Savior. Having died and risen, Christ is always present in his Church, especially in the sacraments; he is the source of our faith, the model of Christian conduct and the Teacher of our prayer. 3. The Doctrinal Value of the Text
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved 25 June last and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church’s faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium. I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion. May it serve the renewal to which the Holy Spirit ceaselessly calls the Church of God, the Body of Christ, on her pilgrimage to the undiminished light of the Kingdom!
The approval and publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church represent a service which the Successor of Peter wishes to offer to the Holy Catholic Church, to all the particular Churches in peace and communion with the Apostolic See: the service, that is, of supporting and confirming the faith of all the Lord Jesus’ disciples (cf. Lk 22:32 as well as of strengthening the bonds of unity in the same apostolic faith. Therefore, I ask all the Church’s Pastors and the Christian faithful to receive this catechism in a spirit of communion and to use it assiduously in fulfilling their mission of proclaiming the faith and calling people to the Gospel life. This catechism is given to them that it may be a sure and authentic reference text for teaching catholic doctrine and particularly for preparing local catechisms. It is also offered to all the faithful who wish to deepen their knowledge of the unfathomable riches of salvation (cf. Eph 3:8). It is meant to support ecumenical efforts that are moved by the holy desire for the unity of all Christians, showing carefully the content and wondrous harmony of the catholic faith. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, lastly, is offered to every individual who asks us to give an account of the hope that is in us (cf. 1 Pt 3:15) and who wants to know what the Catholic Church believes.
This catechism is not intended to replace the local catechisms duly approved by the ecclesiastical authorities, the diocesan Bishops and the Episcopal Conferences, especially if they have been approved by the Apostolic See. It is meant to encourage and assist in the writing of new local catechisms, which take into account various situations and cultures, while carefully preserving the unity of faith and fidelity to catholic doctrine.
At the conclusion of this document presenting the Catechism of the Catholic Church, I beseech the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Incarnate Word and Mother of the Church, to support with her powerful intercession the catechetical work of the entire Church on every level, at this time when she is called to a new effort of evangelization. May the light of the true faith free humanity from the ignorance and slavery of sin in order to lead it to the only freedom worthy of the name (cf. Jn 8:32): that of life in Jesus Christ under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, here below and in the Kingdom of heaven, in the fullness of the blessed vision of God face to face (cf. I Cor 13:12; 2 Cor 5:6-8)!
Given 11 October 1992, the thirtieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, in the fourteenth year of my Pontificate.


1 John XXIII, Discourse at the Opening of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, 11 October 1962: AAS 54 (1962), 788-91.
2 Paul VI, Discourse at the Closing of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, 7 December 1965: AAS 58 (1966), 7-8.
3 John Paul II, Discourse of 25 January 1985: L’Osservatore Romano, 27 January 1985.
4 Final Report of the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops, 7 December 1985: the Enchiridion Vaticanum vol. 9, II B a, n. 4:p. 1758, n. 1797.
5 John Paul II, Discourse at the of Closing of Extraordinary Synod of Bishops, 7 December 1985, n. 6: AAS 78 (1986), 435.

The Catholic Church’s Handbook on Ethics in Advertising

NOTES:

By the Pontifical Council for Social Communications,
John P. Foley, President

(1) Communio et Progressio, 59, in AAS, LXIII (1971), pp. 615-617.

(2) For example: Vatican Council II, Inter Mirifica, in AAS, LVI (1964), pp. 145-157; the Messages of Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II on the occasion of the World Communication Days; Pontifical Commission for Social Communications, Pastoral Instruction Communio et Progressio, in AAS, LXIII (1971), pp. 593-656; Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Pornography and Violence in the Communications Media: a Pastoral Response, Vatican City 1989; Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Pastoral Instruction Aetatis Novae, Vatican City 1992.

(3) Communio et Progressio, n. 2, loc. cit., pp. 593-594.

(4) Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2494 (quoting Vatican Council II, Inter Mirifica, n. 11).

(5) See Pope PAUL VI, Message for World Communications Day 1977, in L’Osservatore Romano, May 13, 1977, pp. 1-2; Communio et Progressio, nn. 59-62, loc. cit., pp. 615-617.

(6) PAUL VI, Message for World Communications Day 1977, loc. cit., p. 1.

(7) JOHN PAUL II, Centesimus Annus, n. 34, in AAS, LXXXIII (1991), pp. 835-836.

(8) PAUL VI, Message for World Communications Day 1977, loc. cit., p. 1.

(9) JOHN PAUL II, Centesimus Annus, n. 46, loc. cit., p. 850.

(10) Cf. Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Pastoral Instruction Aetatis Novae, nn. 20-21, Vatican City 1992.

(11) Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Pastoral Instruction Aetatis Novae, n. 11, Vatican City 1992.

(12) PAUL VI, Message for World Communications Day 1977, loc. cit., p. 2.

(13) Communio et Progressio, n. 60, loc. cit., p. 616.

(14) JOHN PAUL II, Centesimus Annus, n. 36, loc. cit., p. 839.

(15) Ibid., pp. 838-839.

(16) Communio et Progressio, n. 61, loc. cit., p. 616.

(17) JOHN PAUL II, Centesimus Annus, n. 40, loc. cit., p. 843.

(18) Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Pastoral Instruction Aetatis Novae, n. 16, Vatican City 1992.

(19) JOHN PAUL II, Message for World Communications Day 1996, in L’Osservatore Romano, Jan. 25, 1996, pp. 1, 6.

(20) Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Pornography and Violence in the Communications Media: a Pastoral Response, n. 6, Vatican City 1989.

(21) Inter Mirifica, n. 4, in AAS, LVI (1964), p. 146.

(22) JOHN PAUL II, Veritatis Splendor, n.53, in AAS, LXXXV (1993), p. 1176.

(23) Ibid., n. 64, loc. cit., p. 1183.

(24) Cf. ibid., n. 31, loc. cit., pp. 1158-1159, and passim.

(25) Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2494, Vatican City 1994 (quoting Vatican Council II, Inter Mirifica, n. 5).

(26) JOHN PAUL II, Address to Communications Specialists, Los Angeles, Sept. 15, 1987, in L’Osservatore Romano, Sept. 17, 1987, p. 5.

(27) PAUL VI, Message for World Communications Day 1977, loc. cit., pp. 1-2.

(28) Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Pornography and Violence in the Communications Media: a Pastoral Response, n. 7, Vatican City 1989.

(29) JOHN PAUL II, Centesimus Annus, n. 37, loc. cit., p. 840.

(30) JOHN PAUL II, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, n. 33, in AAS, LXXX (1988), p. 557.

(31) Ibid., nn. 27-34, loc. cit., pp. 547-560.

(32) Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2496, Vatican City 1994.

(33) PAUL VI, Message for World Communications Day 1977, loc. cit., p. 2.

(34) Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2498, Vatican City 1994 (quoting Vatican Council II, Inter Mirifica, n. 12).

(35) JOHN PAUL II, Redemptoris Missio, n. 37 (c), in AAS, LXXXIII (1991), pp. 284-285.

(36) Catechism of the Catholic Church, Vatican City 1994, n. 2496.

(37) JOHN PAUL II, Veritatis Splendor, n. 94, loc. cit., p. 1207.

V. Conclusion: Some Steps to Take

18. The indispensable guarantors of ethically correct behavior by the advertising industry are the well formed and responsible consciences of advertising professionals themselves: consciences sensitive to their duty not merely to serve the interests of those who commission and finance their work but also to respect and uphold the rights and interests of their audiences and to serve the common good.

 

Many women and men professionally engaged in advertising do have sensitive consciences, high ethical standards and a strong sense of responsibility. But even for them external pressures — from the clients who commission their work as well as from the competitive internal dynamics of their profession — can create powerful inducements to unethical behavior. That underlines the need for external structures and systems to support and encourage responsible practice in advertising and to discourage the irresponsible.

 

19. Voluntary ethical codes are one such source of support. These already exist in a number of places. Welcome as they are, though, they are only as effective as the willingness of advertisers to comply strictly with them. “It is up to the directors and managers of the media which carry advertising to make known to the public, to subscribe to and to apply the codes of professional ethics which already have been opportunely established so as to have the cooperation of the public in making these codes still better and in enforcing their observance.”33

 

We emphasize the importance of public involvement. Representatives of the public should participate in the formulation, application and periodic updating of ethical codes. The public representatives should include ethicists and church people, as well as representatives of consumer groups. Individuals do well to organize themselves into such groups in order to protect their interests in relation to commercial interests.

 

20. Public authorities also have a role to play. On the one hand, government should not seek to control and dictate policy to the advertising industry, any more than to other sectors of the communications media. On the other hand, the regulation of advertising content and practice, already existing in many places, can and should extend beyond banning false advertising, narrowly defined. “By promulgating laws and overseeing their application, public authorities should ensure that ‘public morality and social progress are not gravely endangered’ through misuse of the media.”34

 

For example, government regulations should address such questions as the quantity of advertising, especially in broadcast media, as well as the content of advertising directed at groups particularly vulnerable to exploitation, such as children and old people. Political advertising also seems an appropriate area for regulation: how much may be spent, how and from whom may money for advertising be raised, etc.

 

21. The media of news and information should make it a point to keep the public informed about the world of advertising. Considering advertising’s social impact, it is appropriate that media regularly review and critique the performance of advertisers, just as they do other groups whose activities have a significant influence on society.

 

22. Besides using media to evangelize, the Church for her part needs to grasp the full implications of the observation by Pope John Paul: that media comprise a central part of that great modern “Areopagus” where ideas are shared and attitudes and values are formed. This points to a “deeper reality” than simply using media to spread the Gospel message, important as that is. “It is also necessary to integrate that message into the ‘new culture’ created by modern communications” with its “new ways of communicating… new languages, new techniques and a new psychology.”35

 

In light of this insight, it is important that media education be part of pastoral planning and a variety of pastoral and educational programs carried on by the Church, including Catholic schools. This includes education regarding the role of advertising in today’s world and its relevance to the work of the Church. Such education should seek to prepare people to be informed and alert in their approach to advertising as to other forms of communication. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church points out, “the means of social communication. … can give rise to a certain passivity among users, making them less than vigilant consumers of what is said or shown. Users should practice moderation and discipline in their approach to the mass media.”36

 

23. In the final analysis, however, where freedom of speech and communication exists, it is largely up to advertisers themselves to ensure ethically responsible practices in their profession. Besides avoiding abuses, advertisers should also undertake to repair the harm sometimes done by advertising, insofar as that is possible: for example, by publishing corrective notices, compensating injured parties, increasing the quantity of public service advertising, and the like. This question of ‘reparations’ is a matter of legitimate involvement not only by industry self-regulatory bodies and public interest groups, but also by public authorities.

 

Where unethical practices have become widespread and entrenched, conscientious advertisers may be called upon to make significant personal sacrifices to correct them. But people who want to do what is morally right must always be ready to suffer loss and personal injury rather than to do what is wrong. This is a duty for Christians, followers of Christ, certainly; but not only for them. “In this witness to the absoluteness of the moral good Christians are not alone: they are supported by the moral sense present in peoples and by the great religious and sapiential traditions of East and West.”37

 

We do not wish, and certainly we do not expect, to see advertising eliminated from the contemporary world. Advertising is an important element in today’s society, especially in the functioning of a market economy, which is becoming more and more widespread.

 

Moreover, for the reasons and in the ways sketched here, we believe advertising can, and often does, play a constructive role in economic growth, in the exchange of information and ideas, and in the fostering of solidarity among individuals and groups. Yet it also can do, and often does, grave harm to individuals and to the common good.

 

In light of these reflections, therefore, we call upon advertising professionals and upon all those involved in the process of commissioning and disseminating advertising to eliminate its socially harmful aspects and observe high ethical standards in regard to truthfulness, human dignity and social responsibility. In this way, they will make a special and significant contribution to human progress and to the common good.

IV. Some Ethical and Moral Principles

14. The Second Vatican Council declared: “If the media are to be correctly employed, it is essential that all who use them know the principles of the moral order and apply them faithfully in this domain.”21 The moral order to which this refers is the order of the law of human nature, binding upon all because it is “written on their hearts” (Rom. 2:15) and embodies the imperatives of authentic human fulfillment.

 

For Christians, moreover, the law of human nature has a deeper dimension, a richer meaning. “Christ is the ‘Beginning’ who, having taken on human nature, definitively illumines it in its constitutive elements and in its dynamism of charity towards God and neighbor.”22 Here we comprehend the deepest significance of human freedom: that it makes possible an authentic moral response, in light of Jesus Christ, to the call “to form our conscience, to make it the object of a continuous conversion to what is true and to what is good.”23

 

In this context, the media of social communications have two options, and only two. Either they help human persons to grow in their understanding and practice of what is true and good, or they are destructive forces in conflict with human well being. That is entirely true of advertising.

 

Against this background, then, we point to this fundamental principle for people engaged in advertising: advertisers — that is, those who commission, prepare or disseminate advertising — are morally responsible for what they seek to move people to do; and this is a responsibility also shared by publishers, broadcasting executives, and others in the communications world, as well as by those who give commercial or political endorsements, to the extent that they are involved in the advertising process.

 

If an instance of advertising seeks to move people to choose and act rationally in morally good ways that are of true benefit to themselves and others, persons involved in it do what is morally good; if it seeks to move people to do evil deeds that are self-destructive and destructive of authentic community, they do evil.

 

This applies also to the means and the techniques of advertising: it is morally wrong to use manipulative, exploitative, corrupt and corrupting methods of persuasion and motivation. In this regard, we note special problems associated with so-called indirect advertising that attempts to move people to act in certain ways — for example, purchase particular products — without their being fully aware that they are being swayed. The techniques involved here include showing certain products or forms of behavior in superficially glamorous settings associated with superficially glamorous people; in extreme cases, it may even involve the use of subliminal messages.

 

Within this very general framework, we can identify several moral principles that are particularly relevant to advertising. We shall speak briefly of three: truthfulness, the dignity of the human person, and social responsibility.

 

a) Truthfulness in Advertising

 

15. Even today, some advertising is simply and deliberately untrue. Generally speaking, though, the problem of truth in advertising is somewhat more subtle: it is not that advertising says what is overtly false, but that it can distort the truth by implying things that are not so or withholding relevant facts. As Pope John Paul II points out, on both the individual and social levels, truth and freedom are inseparable; without truth as the basis, starting point and criterion of discernment, judgment, choice and action, there can be no authentic exercise of freedom.24 The Catechism of the Catholic Church, quoting the Second Vatican Council, insists that the content of communication be “true and — within the limits set by justice and charity — complete”; the content should, moreover, be communicated “honestly and properly.”25

 

To be sure, advertising, like other forms of expression, has its own conventions and forms of stylization, and these must be taken into account when discussing truthfulness. People take for granted some rhetorical and symbolic exaggeration in advertising; within the limits of recognized and accepted practice, this can be allowable.

 

But it is a fundamental principle that advertising may not deliberately seek to deceive, whether it does that by what it says, by what it implies, or by what it fails to say. “The proper exercise of the right to information demands that the content of what is communicated be true and, within the limits set by justice and charity, complete. … Included here is the obligation to avoid any manipulation of truth for any reason.”26

 

b) The Dignity of the Human Person

 

16. There is an “imperative requirement” that advertising “respect the human person, his rightduty to make a responsible choice, his interior freedom; all these goods would be violated if man’s lower inclinations were to be exploited, or his capacity to reflect and decide compromised.”27

 

These abuses are not merely hypothetical possibilities but realities in much advertising today. Advertising can violate the dignity of the human person both through its content — what is advertised, the manner in which it is advertised — and through the impact it seeks to make upon its audience. We have spoken already of such things as appeals to lust, vanity, envy and greed, and of techniques that manipulate and exploit human weakness. In such circumstances, advertisements readily become “vehicles of a deformed outlook on life, on the family, on religion and on morality — an outlook that does not respect the true dignity and destiny of the human person.”28

 

This problem is especially acute where particularly vulnerable groups or classes of persons are concerned: children and young people, the elderly, the poor, the culturally disadvantaged.

 

Much advertising directed at children apparently tries to exploit their credulity and suggestibility, in the hope that they will put pressure on their parents to buy products of no real benefit to them. Advertising like this offends against the dignity and rights of both children and parents; it intrudes upon the parent-child relationship and seeks to manipulate it to its own base ends. Also, some of the comparatively little advertising directed specifically to the elderly or culturally disadvantaged seems designed to play upon their fears so as to persuade them to allocate some of their limited resources to goods or services of dubious value.

 

c) Advertising and Social Responsibility

 

17. Social responsibility is such a broad concept that we can note here only a few of the many issues and concerns relevant under this heading to the question of advertising.

 

The ecological issue is one. Advertising that fosters a lavish life style which wastes resources and despoils the environment offends against important ecological concerns. “In his desire to have and to enjoy rather than to be and grow, man consumes the resources of the earth and his own life in an excessive and disordered way. … Man thinks that he can make arbitrary use of the earth, subjecting it without restraint to his will, as though it did not have its own requisites and a prior God-given purpose, which man can indeed develop but must not betray.”29

 

As this suggests, something more fundamental is at issue here: authentic and integral human development. Advertising that reduces human progress to acquiring material goods and cultivating a lavish life style expresses a false, destructive vision of the human person harmful to individuals and society alike.

 

When people fail to practice “a rigorous respect for the moral, cultural and spiritual requirements, based on the dignity of the person and on the proper identity of each community, beginning with the family and religious societies,” then even material abundance and the conveniences that technology makes available “will prove unsatisfying and in the end contemptible.”30 Advertisers, like people engaged in other forms of social communication, have a serious duty to express and foster an authentic vision of human development in its material, cultural and spiritual dimensions.31 Communication that meets this standard is, among other things, a true expression of solidarity. Indeed, the two things — communication and solidarity — are inseparable, because, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church points out, solidarity is “a consequence of genuine and right communication and the free circulation of ideas that further knowledge and respect for others.”32