HE Vatican Commission established during the Second Vatican Council to deal with the news media held its first plenary session last week under its new president, American Archbishop Edward Heston.
About 50 people, including Mr. David Miles Board. the Catholic Information Officer for England and Wales, attended the meeting of the group, the Pontifical Commission on Social Communications.
For the first time since being established by Pope Paul in 1964 to deal with "the cinema, radio, television and the press," information officers of bishops' conferences from the United States, Canada and Western Europe were invited to attend a commission plenary session.
Following a suggestion made by the Vatican Council, many bishops' conferences have an information officer.
The present commission evolved from a commission established by Pope Pius XII in 1948 to select films for use in religious education. Later that commission branched out into the field of radio and television.
In 1964, Pope Paul gave the commission its present name and additional duties, and the Vatican Council ordered that there be drawn up a pastoral instruction on the value of social communications.