Bringing Truth, Goodness and Beauty to the Media

Fr. James Mallon spoke about "Faith in the Media" at Theology on Tap on August 20. He tackled two questions: Can we trust the media? What is the Church's role in the media?

On the first question, we trust the mediation of art when it represents truth, beauty, and goodness. A narrative that represents these things brings us closer to God. Art is true when it originates in the Holy Spirit, and its mediator does not change it to suit his/her own special interest. Art is beautiful when it is inspiring and not depressing. Art is good when it gives us hope.

Although some art does not embody truth, beauty and goodness, the marketplace of ideas should be free of censorship.  Some art is produced for art's sake and lacks a narrative that brings us closer to God.  Truth is lost when a mediator is more interested in using selected pieces of a message to further interests that are inconsistent with the Holy Spirit.  Some media mediates other media and lacks a narrative of its own (i.e. shows about the media). However, in a free and self-correcting marketplace of ideas, art that lacks narrative or misrepresentations of art will not last, and will eventually disappear.  For a marketplace of ideas to be self-correcting, it must be free from censorship.

The Church must go outside itself and mediate art in a way that brings truth, goodness, and beauty to the world.  Christians should bring their values to secular media institutions.  Through its lay apostolate, the Church must enter the forum of media with courage and confidence so that the world will hear the Good News of Jesus Christ.

By a Theology on Tap volunteer

Here is an excerpt from Fr. Mallon's talk:

Here is an excerpt from the Question and Answer session after Fr. Mallon's talk: