From: <CEvans1950@aol.com>
Date: Sun, 21 Jun 1998 12:07:34 EDT

Seems like these folks could stand to clean up their own sexual problems before they start sweating out everyone elses's. Or perhaps this is the opening effort to persuade the public that the endless parade of molesting clergy are victims of media expoure that forced them to act disgracefully.

Catholic Bishops To Fight Media Sex

.c The Associated Press

PITTSBURGH (AP) - In the opening salvo of their campaign to clean up the media, the nation's Roman Catholic bishops made an unexpected point: sex and violence have their place in entertainment.

While urging the entertainment industry to soften its depiction of violence and sex, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops said graphic images could be appropriate viewing for adults "in a moral context."

"The media's dark side continues to obscure the value of their contributions," the bishops said in a seven-point statement released Friday.

The bishops also asked news outlets not to sensationalize events, urged parents to turn off the television sometimes and advised church members how to battle pornography.

Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg, Fla., said it was the first major statement to come from bishops on the issue.

"We can't springboard progress unless we have a policy platform," Lynch said. "I see this as a Magna Carta, a foundational document."

The statement was adopted by a vote of 207-11 during the bishops' annual spring conference, which ends today.

The bishops asked viewers not to watch sensational programming, but acknowledged that media outlets will continue to air it as long as such shows remains profitable. Parents were urged to have the backbone to control what their children view.

"Sharing the reasons why a video game is too violent or a particular show lacks good values about sex can contribute to a youngster's moral growth," the position paper said.

"There ought to be occasions when the almost continuous sound of voices that come from television, radio and through the telephone ... gives way to more silent times for family discussion, prayer and homework."

The church hopes to meet with media executives regularly to discuss mutual interests, according to Lynch.

Already, Cardinal William Keeler of Baltimore has talked with some Hollywood executives, directors and writers who were "very, very receptive," said Monsignor Francis Maniscalco of New York.

"They show concerns very similar to ours," he added.

The bishops rejected government censorship because some governments have used censorship to suppress religion.

They hinted at a need for anti-violence laws similar to some states' anti- obscenity laws, which they decried for ignoring graphic violence.

"There is room for revision in the laws," the statement read. "A nuanced definition of excessive violence is needed to aid both legislators and self- regulators."

AP-NY-06-20-98 0448EDT


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