The Press: Welcome Aboard

About three centuries after the concept of a free press was first postulated, the Vatican got around to endorsing it last week. A 20,000-word "pastoral instruction," circulated to Roman Catholic bishops throughout the world, condemned censorship in mass communications (except as a "last extremity") and decreed that "freedom of speech for individuals and groups must be permitted so long as the common good and public morality be not endangered." The document, which was approved by Pope Paul, also contended that the relationship between the church and the press should "be distinguished by integrity, truth and openness." There should be "a steady...

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