The importance of advertising is "steadily on the increase in modern society." That observation, made by this Pontifical Council quarter century ago as part of an overview of the state of communications, is even more true now. Just as the media of social communication themselves have enormous influence everywhere, so advertising, using media as its vehicle, is a pervasive, powerful force shaping attitudes and behaviour in today's world. Especially since the Second Vatican council, the Church has frequently addressed the question of the media and their role and responsibilities. She has sought to do so in a fundamentally positive manner, viewing the media as "gifts of God" which, in accordance with his plan for their salvation."