The increase of Catholic radio stations in the United States is indeed a welcome development (“Catholic Radio Takes to the Air,” Aug. 25–31). Although this growth appears to be spontaneous and a recent development, it is noteworthy that the Vatican II fathers, writing in 1963, gave particular attention to the need for Catholic radio stations and other media of mass communication.
As noted in the Decree on the Means of Social Communication, Inter mirifica, Catholics have a duty to support Catholic radio (as well as television and the press). The council “advises them of the obligation they have to maintain and assist Catholic newspapers, periodicals and film projects, radio and television programs and stations, whose principal objective is to spread and defend the truth and foster Christian influence in human society.”
As a member of the Advisory Board of WHFA, a Starboard Broadcasting Catholic radio station serving southern Wisconsin, in addition to the welcome support of our bishop and diocesan officials, I have had the opportunity to see the gratifying out-pouring of support from numerous parishes, some by no means wealthy, when they are presented with the rich apostolic opportunities offered by Catholic radio.
As pointed out in Inter mirifica, “It is quite unbecoming for the Church's children idly to permit the message of salvation to be thwarted or impeded by the technical delays or expenses, however vast, which are encountered by the very nature of these media. At the same time, the synod earnestly invites those organizations and individuals who possess financial and technical ability to support these media freely and generously with their resources and their skills, inasmuch as they contribute to genuine culture and the apostolate.”
Happily, a response to the council's call for Catholic radio is now manifesting itself.
DAVID R. J. STIENNON