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Life in Christ

597

2491

Professional secrets

—for example, those of political office

holders, soldiers, physicians, and lawyers—or confidential infor­

mation given under the seal of secrecy must be kept, save in

exceptional cases where keeping the secret is bound to cause very

grave harm to the one who confided it, to the one who received it

or to a third party, and where the very grave harm can be avoided

only by divulging the truth. Even if not confided under the seal of

secrecy, private information prejudicial to another is not to be

divulged without a grave and proportionate reason.

2492

Everyone should observe an appropriate reserve con­

cerning persons’ private lives. Those in charge of communications

should maintain a fair balance between the requirements of the

common good and respect for individual rights. Interference by

the media in the private lives of persons engaged in political or

public activity is to be condemned to the extent that it infringes

upon their privacy and freedom.

V.

T

he

U

se of

the

S

ocial

C

ommunications

M

edia

2493

Within modern society the communications media play a

major role in information, cultural promotion, and formation. This

role is increasing, as a result of technological progress, the extent

and diversity of the news transmitted, and the influence exercised

on public opinion.

2494

The information provided by the media is at the service of

the common good.

285

Society has a right to information based on

truth, freedom, justice, and solidarity:

The proper exercise of this right demands that the content

of the communication be true and—within the limits set by

justice and charity—complete. Further, it should be commu­

nicated honestly and properly. This means that in the gath­

ering and in the publication of news, the moral law and the

legitimate rights and dignity of man should be upheld.

286

285 Cf.

IM

11.

286

IM

5 § 2.

2522

1906