SIGNIS (official name: World Catholic Association for Communication) is a Roman Catholic lay ecclesial movement for professionals in the communication media, including press, radio, television, cinema, video, media education, Internet and new technology. It is a non-profit organization with representation from over 100 countries. It was formed in November 2001 by the merger of International Catholic Organization for Cinema and Audiovisual (OCIC) and International Catholic Association for Radio and Television (Unda). At its World Congress in Quebec in 2017, SIGNIS welcomed also former member organisations of the International Catholic Union of the Press (UCIP).
The Holy See has officially recognized SIGNIS as an International Association of the Faithful, and has included the "World Catholic Association for Communication, also known as SIGNIS" in its Directory of International Associations of the Faithful, published by the Pontifical Council for the Laity. Before the dissolution of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, the governing body of SIGNIS included a representative of this pontifical council, another department of the Roman Curia. OCIC, Unda, UCIP and SIGNIS had also representatives-advisers in the Pontifical Council of Social Communications. in June 2015 Pope Francis established a new dicastery of the Roman Curia with authority over all communications offices of the Holy See and the Vatican City State, including the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Holy See Press Office, Vatican Internet Service, Vatican Radio, Vatican Television Center, Osservatore Romano, Vatican Press (it), Photograph Service, and Vatican Publishing House. A representative of this new Secretariat for Communications is part of the governing body of SIGNIS.
Even before the First World War, Catholics considered cinema, radio and the press as powerful popular media that could influence worldviews and moral values. Many Catholics didn't trust modernity, and the popular media were no exception. In fact, they blamed them for the declining influence of religion in society. Modernity did not simply introduce technological and scientific innovations; it enabled the dissemination of new ideologies, based mostly on atheism and challenging the place of the Church in society. Pope Leo XIII started to promote Thomism, the theology of Thomas Aquinas to see how modernity could make part in a positive way in the life of Catholics and in the evangelisation. This was the base of Catholic Action: professional Catholics working and acting in the secular world of the modern media.
As a fruit of the contemporary Catholic Action, UCIP was founded in Belgium in 1927. A year later the Organization Catholique Internationale du Cinéma (OCIC) came into being in The Netherlands, and the Bureau Catholic International de Radiodiffusion (BCIR), in Germany. BCIR became the international professional Catholic association for radio and television, Unda in 1946.
These professional Catholic lay associations, working in the world of the professional media, wanted to unite their efforts against the secularization of society and were thus working in the secular world. On the one hand, they were aware that the press and the new media of radio and cinema were contributing to secularization. On the other hand, they also believed that by engaging in these media, and above all the secular media, they could use them as a new means of evangelization. Efforts had to be made to evangelize the secular mass media, or at least to insert the values of the Gospel into them.
In fact, OCIC, Unda and UCIP had similar objectives: to bring together Catholics already working as professionals in the media (OCIC in the field of cinema, Unda in radio and television and UCIP in the Press). The interest of Catholics in the press and above all the new media was understandable. They saw the opportunities offered by the mass media to present their views and opinions on life and the world and so they naturally became involved in promoting education and values. As a result of the merger of the Catholic media organizations OCIC and Unda, SIGNIS was founded in 2001. The archives of OCIC and Unda are located in the Documentation and Research Centre for Religion, Culture and Society, Kadoc at the Catholic University of Louvain (KU Leuven). In 2014 the Vatican suggested that SIGNIS should also integrate the members of the former International Catholic Union of the Press (UCIP), which a few years earlier had lost its recognition by the Holy See as an official Catholic organization. At the SIGNIS world Congress of 2017 in Quebec several Catholic press associations, former members of UCIP, were welcomed, among them CPA (Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada).
Catholics and cinema: Catholics were involved in the new art of cinema from its inception. Already in November 1895 the Catholic University of Louvain organised a screening of the Lumière films. Later when cinema became a regularly and popular medium, Catholics, and above the parish priests reacted in two ways: condemning it or considering it as a tool of evangelisation, seeing its worldwide influence on families and, above all, on young audiences. In several countries worldwide, Priests started to use cinema as part of their apostolat. Among them there was the Jesuit priest, known as Abbé Alexis Joye in Switzerland. Before the arrival of cinema he projected images with the magic lantern for schoolchildren, and from 1902 on he used cinema.
From 1910 on almost every Belgian city had its Catholic cinema (called mostly Family cinema, or Patria). In these cinema halls educational as well as entertainment films were on the program, the selection and screening were controlled by the organizing Catholics, among them mostly Priests. One of the Belgian pioneers was Abbé Abel Brohée, who was active in the Catholic Action Movement and he started to structure all these Catholic initiatives. By the 1920s, he was convinced that it was necessary to inform the public of the moral value of films. His aim was not limiting the action of Catholics to moral quotations. He wanted a presence "on all fronts". That is why, as early as 1921, he joined a group of Catholics who had founded a distribution agency under the name Brabo-Films. He will become one of the leading personalities, as president of OCIC in the 1930s, in the field of cinema. OCIC itself was the result of international politics.
In 1919 the League of Nations was established in Geneva and its objective was to prevent another world war in promoting a culture of peace and dialogue. This was not only a matter of politicians and diplomats but also and above all a matter of the cultural world. In 1922 a technical committee for culture, the International Committee for Intellectual Cooperation (CICI) was formed with personalities as Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, Gabriela Mistral and Henri Bergson to shape the mind of the members of the League of Nations in i.e. rectifying errors in text books which were alleged to be a mainspring of racial prejudices. It is a value orientated policy. Out of this committee came a permanent organisation to study the development of cinema as a tool of education. To be on this committee only memberstates and international organisations were admitted. In 1926 the International Union of Catholic Women's Leagues (UILFC) urged the Catholics involved in cinema to build such an international Catholic cinema organisation to have a say in the international film work of the League of Nations. This led to the founding of OCIC in 1928 and its first secretary general, the French canon Joseph Reymond, became also the secretary of the International Educational Cinematographic Institute (IECI) of the League of Nations. It was a way to counter the influence of those who had a negative attitude towards the Catholic world.
OCIC developed a positive approach to this new art. It wanted to offer guidance to audiences and to discover and foster productions which promoted the same values as Christians did. It wanted to inform in a professional way the faithfull, and others, about the moral and artistic quality of the film, so that they could decide themselves if they would go and see the film or not. It was the beginning of film education. OCIC called for the creation of national organizations dealing with topics such as childhood, families, spiritulity, religion and cinema, and film reviews (an early form of media education). It also expressed its intention to collaborate with the film industry. One of its concerns was the promotion of 'good' films, both for education and entertainment. This was one of the aspects put forward by the Encyclical Letter of Pope Pius XI on the Motion Picture Vigilanti Cura, published in 1936. Not the positive view of OCIC towards cinema prevailed in this letter but the rather negative one of the American Catholics – bishops-. They did found the Legion of Decency to launch a crusade against the "abuses" of the motion pictures. After the Second World War, the Vatican did prefer the views of OCIC in the matters of cinema and considered cinema also as an instrument of evangelisation.
Catholics and radio and television: In the same way Catholic radio producers realized by the end of the 1920s that radio had become, like cinema, an important means of spreading ideas, and could therefore influence the views of millions and connect them to Christian values. At its first international congress (1929) in Munich, Unda drew attention to the importance of radio for religious, cultural and social life. It issued a blueprint for action: "Decisions for Catholic and Broadcasting". It also established criteria for membersdhip: "National Committees", representing Catholic individuals and groups professionally or pastorally engaged in broadcasting. In that spirit Unda invited Catholics to collaborate with radio companies (private or public) in making religious programmes and to foster Christian values. In 1930 BICR established formal liaison with the Geneva-based Union Internationale de Radiodiffusion. BCIR was also asked to help organizing Vatican radio's first broadcast and to advice them in this new communication domain.
In the 1930s Catholic broadcasters worldwide had an optimistic view of the development of radio and, later, of the new medium of television. It could transcend frontiers and bring peoples and cultures together. It could be a means of exchanging cultural values, a way of fostering mutual understanding. Radio was thought of as the means par excellence for reconciling peoples, fostering fellowship among nations and promoting peace. Like OCIC, Unda too developed different aspects of media education.
After World War II and during the succeeding decades these principles found new expression in radio and television activities. An 1946 BCIR got the name of Unda, which is the Latin name for "wave". Its objectives were: to help coordinate professional and apostolic activities of Catholics in radio and television; to promote collaboration among members, through conferences, publications, information exchanges, research; to represent internationally the interests of members; to help meet communications needs of members; to help meet communications needs of the Third World; and to collaborate with non-Catholic organizations having similar objectives. In February 1958, for example, participants from twelve countries came together in the second ever International Television Festival (the first was the Prix Italia) in the world, organised in Monte Carlo by Unda. This TV festival was supported by Prince Rainier III who, inspired by this event, created the Festival de Télévision de Monte-Carlo three years later. Unda was asked to give a prize at this festival and this tradition has been carried on by SIGNIS.
Catholics and the press: In the 19th century almost every Catholic country had its Catholic newspapers, at the end of the century and du to the secularization of society the Catholic Action started also to consider and to work in the word of the press. In the US Bishop John England, immigrated to the US from Ireland, launched in Charleston, SC the first Catholic diocesan paper: The Catholic Miscellany. He did not feel that he could use secular media to explain Church matters. Only fifteen years later the Church recognized independent Catholic Newspapers in the US. Before 1914 there were catholic journalist associations in the United States (CPA). Belgium, Brazil, Italy, France, Germany and so on. Already in 1894, an International Union of Press Associations (IUPA) was founded in Antwerp. After the First World War the press was more than ever considered as one of the most powerful mass instruments to spread worldviews and was an "opinion-maker". At the end of 1927 the International Bureau of Catholic Journalists was founded in Paris. In 1930 the first universal Congress of Catholic Journalists was organized in Brussels. They planned actions to train Catholic journalists, to establish Catholic press agencies and to come up with ways to develop the Catholic Press Action. In 1935 Pius XI did set up a World Exposition of the Press in the Vatican, the heart of fascist Italy in which there was no press freedom. That year it was decided to have formal statutes of the International Bureau of Catholic Journalists. These statutes were presented to the Vatican at the 2nd International Congress of Catholic Journalists in September 1936 in Rome. In 1937 the Dominican Fr. Felix Morlion, linked with OCIC, did made a contact between the Catholic World of Cinema and the International Union of the Catholic press (IUCP/UCIP) in proposing an International Newsletter of the Filmpress, to be established in Breda where the secretariat of the IUCP/UCIP was based. At the annual meeting of the directors of the International Union of the Catholic press in Budapest in 1938 it was decided that the III Universal Congress of the Catholic Press would be held in Poland in September 1939, which could not be held due to the outbreak of the Second World War. Finally it was again in Rome in 1950 that the III UCIP/UCIP congress was held with for the first time vice presidents from French Speaking Canada and the United States, although the CPA became member in 1955. After the war the secretariat of the organisation was transferred to Paris. The fourth congress was held in Paris in May 1954, on the theme: "The Catholic press in the world, its mission, its future", with the participation of 250 journalists from 28 countries. At the UCIP congress in Vienna in 1957, with four hundred participants from 32 countries, it was stated that one of the aims of the Catholic press was to become a trusted source of information for non-Catholics. One of the significant congresses was the one of held in 1965 in New York. It was UCIP's eighth congress held together with the 55th annual convention of the CPA and 800 journalists, including 600 from the United States did discuss the theme : "The truth in the search for freedom." The discussions wee about freedom in politics, in art, in the press and the realition between freedom and authority, freedom and civic rights and freedom and the international. order. At is fiftieth anniversary in 1977, the twelfth World Congress of UCIP was held in Vienna, bringing together 350 participants. It was preceded by a meeting of about fifty delegates from so-called third world countries. The congress addresses issues of the Catholic press in regions other than Europe and devotes of the New World Order of Information and Communication (NOMIC). On 19 September 2001, a few days after the attack on the World Trade Center towers, more than a thousand participants attended the twentieth UCIP Congress, at the University of Friborg, Switzerland, to discuss the theme: " The media at the challenge of globalization. Congress delegates issue a statement in which they condemn terrorism, as well as all acts of violence against innocent victims of the civilian population. They are pleading for dialogue, reconciliation and peace. One of the invited experts from Brazil, offered a radical critique of the mass media that uses information to dominate the poor. Despite the reluctance of the Vatican, the UCIP adopted new statutes that allow the reception of non-Catholics within it. Due to administrative mismagnement with the elections of the board of UCIP of 2007 at the 22nd Congress in Sherbrooke (Canada) the Vatican didn't recognize the UCIP as a legitimate Catholic association. Following a formal statement made by the Vatican - “resulting from the serious management crisis the organisation has been experiencing for years” – the UCIP (International Catholic Press Union) may no longer use the adjective “Catholic.” The Vatican asked in 2011 also journalists to find new ways of associating.
Catholics in radio, television, cinema and press working together: From the 1960s, Unda and OCIC began to hold joint meetings and assemblies and incorporated work on the small and grassroots media that were then being developed. After an Unda-OCIC congress in Manila in 1980, the first joint meeting of the boards of Unda and OCIC was held in Washington in 1982 to study mutual relations. A commission, led by the American Fr. John Geaney, CSP, suggested that the two organizations should merge. But at the World Congress in Quito of 1987 the proposal was not accepted: intense collaboration yes, but no merger. This decision was a paradox, because a few days earlier the Latin American branches of the three organizations (UCLAP, OCIC-AL, Unda-AL) had created a joint secretariat to cover all the media, but the rest of the world did not follow them. The 1980s saw the proliferation of video use, soon followed by rapid developments in information technology and the growth of digital media and the internet.
Between UCIP, Unda and OCIC there were always contacts. As the offices of OCIC and since the 1970s for Unda were also in Belgium these contacts were easy and friendly. All three organizations were represented on the board of the Catholic Media Council in Aachen (Germany) from 1977 to 1991. Even later the bonds became closer. In the 1980s and 1990 UCIP's president was the Belgian, Louis Meerts (1937–2007). At the UCIP World congress in Pattaya, Thailand in 1996 Mees appealed for closer ties with OCIC and Unda. He said UCIP, OCIC and Unda members could train Catholic journalists and work together in a way that reflected sincere faith and make "Catholic" mean "quality". Since many members of Unda and OCIC worked in several media, and since media ministry was cross-media, the impetus for a combined Catholic Association for audiovisual media grew ever stronger, eventually leading to the merger of Unda and OCIC as SIGNIS on 21 November 2001 in Rome.In 2014 the Vatican suggested that SIGNIS should also integrate the members of the former International Catholic Union of the Press (UCIP), which a few years earlier had lost its recognition by the Holy See as an official Catholic organization.
Presidents and secretaries general of OCIC, Unda and SIGNIS
UCIP secretary-generals for the period 1927–2011:Joseph Ageorges (France, 1927-1940); Hein Houben (The Netherlands; 1935-1940), Jean‐Pierre Dubois‐Dumée (France, 1950-1955), le Père Emile Gabel (France, 1955 – 1968), le Père Pierre Chevalier (France, 1974-1980),le Père Bruno Holtz (Switzerland, 1984-1993), Joseph Chittilappilly (India, 1993-2011)
UCIP presidents for the period 1927–2011: René Delforge (Belgium, 1927-1934), le comte Giuseppe Dalla Torre (Italy, 1936-1960), Raimondo Manzini (Italy, 1960-1972),Louis Meerts (Belgium, 1972-1980), Hanns Sassman (Austria, 1980-1986), Günther Mees (Germany, 1992-1998), Theresa Ee Chooi (Malaysia, 1998-2011)
Unda secretary-generals for the period 1928–2002: Mgr Bernhard Marschall (Germany, 1928–1935); P.John Dito (OP, the Netherlands, 1935–1938); M. Paul Andrien Speet (The Netherlands, 1938–1942); M. Joseph Diening (The Netherlands, 1942–1950); M. François Van Hoek (Switzerland, 1950–1952); P. John Dito (OP, The Netherlands, 1952–1953); P. Bonaventura Jansen (OP, The Netherlands, 1953–1954); Fr. Joseph Schneuwly (Switzerland, 1954–1971); Fr John Stapleton (UK, 1971–1974); Fr. Jean Desautels (SJ, Canada, 1974–1981); Fr. Colm Murphy (Ireland, 1981–1994); Fr. Victor Sunderaj (India, 1994–1998); Fr. Pierre Bélanger (SJ, Canada, 1998–2001);
Unda presidents for the period 1928–2001: P. Lambert Henricus Perquin (OP, The Netherlands, 1928–1935); Mgr Bernhard Marschall (Germany, 1935–1938); Fr John Dito (OP, The Netherlands, 1938–1946); Mgr F. Prosperini (Italy, 1946–1948); P. Johannes Benedict Kors (OP, The Netherlands, 1950–1962); Mgr. Jacques Haas (Switzerland, 1962–1968); Fr. Agnellus Andrew (OFM, Scotland, 1968–1980); P. Anthony Scannell (OFM Cap. USA, 1980–1987); Mr. Chainarong Monthienvichienchai (Thailand, 1987–1994); Sr. Angela Ann Zukowski (MHSH, USA, 1994–2001).
OCIC secretary-generals for the period 1928–2002: Fr. Joseph Reymond (France, 1928–1933); Fr. Jean Bernard (Luxemburg, 1935–1947); Mrs Yvonne de Hemptinne (Belgium, 1947–1978); M. Robert Molhant (Belgium, 1979–2002).
OCIC presidents for the period 1928–2002: Dr. George Ernst (Germany, 1928–1933); Fr. Abel Brohée (Belgium, 1933–1947); Fr. jean Bernard (Switzerland, 1947–1972); Fr. Lucien Labelle (Canada, 1972–1980); Fr. Ambros Eichenberger (OP, Switzerland, 1980–1990); Fr. Henk Hoekstra (O. Carm. The Netherlands, 1990–1998); Fr. Peter Malone (MSC, Australia, 1998–2002).
SIGNIS presidents for the period 2002–: Fr. Peter Malone (MSC, Australia, 2002–2005); M. Augie Loorthusamy (Malaysia, 2005–2014). M.Gustavo Andujar (Cuba, 2014–2017), Mss Helen Osman (USA, 2017–
SIGNIS Secretary-generals for the period 2002–: M. Robert Molhant (Belgium, 2002–2005); M. Marc Aellen (Switzerland, 2006–2007); Fr. Bernardo Suate (Mozambique, 2007–2008); M. Alvito de Souza (Kenya, 2008–2015). M.Ricardo Yañez (USA/Argentina, 2015–)
The activities of SIGNIS
SIGNIS has its General Secretariat in Brussels and a specialized technical office in Rome (SIGNIS Service Rome). SIGNIS publishes a magazine called "SIGNIS MEDIA" and has a website www.signis.net.
The organization's diverse programmes cover different media/communication fields and for each one a special department was founded, called "desk". It consists out of a president and from every continent a representative which has to be professional in the field of the desk. In principal these are members of the board, but it can be also a member not belonging to the board if he is one of the experienced professionals. Each desk has a secretary who is working at the general secretariat in Brussels. He or she is responsible for the coordination and the daily work of the desk. The desks are developping the different media/communication fields, are promoting the work of the members in these fields, organizing meetings and training.
The Cinema desk: With the merger of OCIC with Unda into SIGNIS, the presence in festivals of Catholics members of the organisation, not only continued but developed considerably. It is one way of having contact with the professional world, but also a way of bringing together in a jury, professionals who are active in TV, media education, radio, and film critic (press). The first prize of the International Catholic Organisation for Cinema (OCIC) was given to the Italian film Vivere in Pace, by Luigi Zampa, at the Brussels World Film festival in 1947. The first award of SIGNIS went in 2002 to the Egyptian film by Magdi Ahmed Ali Asrar al Bana, (The secret of the young girl) at the Milan African film festival. In 2017 there are SIGNIS juries (only jurymembers representing the National and international members of SIGNIS) in Venice, San Sebastian, Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, La Havana, Montevideo, Milan, Toulouse, Washington, Tehran, Santo Domingo, Zanzibar, Ouagadougou, Religion Today, Besançon and Hong Kong. SIGNIS continued also the ecumenical dialogue in cinema, which started in 1974 at the Locarno film festival. In 2017 SIGNIS representatives collaborate with members of the International Protestant organisation for film (INTERFILM) in 17 international film festivals to award an ecumenical prize (Cannes, Berlin, Fribourg, Oberhausen, Locarno, Kiev, Cottbus, Leipzig, Mannheim-Heidelberg, Montréal, Yerevan, Karlovy Vary, Zlin, Schlingel, Saarbrücken and Warsaw).This policy of dialogue with other Christian churches was extended in 2002 with other religions in interreligious juries. The first interfaith jury was organized in Tehran in 2003 at the Fajr film festival. This jury comprises two jury members selected by SIGNS and one or two Muslim jury members selected by the festival direction. The jury has to consider for its award the section of new Iranian feature films. The idea of jury representatives from different faiths opened the way to the Brisbane film festival (2003–2009), Nyon (2005–), Dhaka, Bangladesh (2006–) and Leipzig since 2016. SIGNIS develops this dialogue according the criteria of the Pontifical of Social Communications published in 1989 in which "Manipulation or base proselytism, at times practiced in the media, is incompatible with the ecumenical task and with the spirit of inter-religious cooperation, (...) and as the decisions of ecclesiastical authorities affirm."
The TV desk: SIGNIS supports the production and distribution of quality TV programmes throughout the world, in organizing Seminars that bring together TV producers, programmers and channels searching for opportunities for co-production or collaboration. It continues and develops the work of Unda in the different TV festivals, which started end of the 1950s in Monte Carlo. In the following years Unda had juries in other international TV festivals like at Prix Italia and at the Golden Rose, in Montreux In 2017, SIGNIS awards the best of television in festivals: at the international television festival of Monte Carlo, at the Prix Italia and at the Plural + Festival. Every three years it co-organizes with WACC a European Festival of Religious Television Programmes, hosted by different national public broadcasters. SIGNIS also collaborates with the Catholic Radio and Television Network (CRTN).
The Journalist desk: In 2014 it became clear that the former members of UCIP in the organisation, would join SIGNIS. This desk has his roots in advocacy. In terms of the practice of a non-governmental organization (NGO) like SIGNIS, advocacy is acting to influence policy-makers and encourage social change that will benefit people's lives. It promotes social justice, human rights and is speaking up for the rights of the poor and marginalized.
The Media Education desk: SIGNIS recognized the power of the media and their influence in all aspects of individual community and social life. That makes it for the organisation imperative to promote Media Education (Media Literacy, Critical Media Education and Edu-Communication). it is a way to enable the citizen to examine the process of media production, media strategies, media ownership, the ways knowledge and meaning are made, as well as media's immense power for empowerment.
The Radio desk: SIGNIS supports the development of community radio and Catholic radio stations, and promotes existing radio networks and associations. Radio is still an important medium. SIGNIS is involved in Catholic and community radios all over the world and especially in Africa, with his office in Rome, SIGNIS Services it provides technical consultation and equipment to radio stations, especially in Africa.It helps with training, logistics and building networks its members. .
The Digital desk: SIGNIS explores how best these new technology can be harnessed to serve the common good and enhance the quality of communication for the majority of people. One of SIGNIS' main objectives is to help reduce the digital divide between those countries closely "connected" to the global digital highways and those in the poorer regions of the world which are still struggling to "connect" to their own towns and villages. For this SIGNIS Services Rome provides an Internet service via satellite that covers all of Africa: the VSAT system.
- List of International Associations of the Faithful recognized by the Pontifical Council for the Laity
- International Associations of the Faithful
- "SIGNIS". Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Retrieved 2008-12-09.
- "Board of Management". SIGNIS. Retrieved 2008-12-09.
- "Members". SIGNIS. Retrieved 2008-12-09.
- Annuario Pontificio. Libreria Editrice Vaticana. 2007. p. 1277. ISBN 978-88-209-7908-9.
- 'SIGNIS' au service de l'oeuvre cinématographique", La Croix, Paris, Avril 9, 2013
- Staf Hellemans,"From 'Catholicism Against Modernity' to the Problematic 'Modernity of Catholicism', 117-127, Ethical Perspectives, Vol.8/2, Louvain, 2001
- Günter Mees, Stimme der Stimmlosen. UCIP – Katholische Weltunion der Presse: Anmerkungen, Episoden, HintergründeBd. 2, LIT Verlag Berlin-Münster-Wien-Zürich-London, 2005, 208 S.
- Bonneville, Léo. Soixante-Dix Ans au Service du Cinéma et de l'Audiovisuel Organisation catholique internationale du cinéma (OCIC). Québec: Fides, 1998
- Kevin Francis Kersten,The structures, activités and policies of Unda, the International Catholic Association for Radio and Television, A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
- Peter Malone (ed.),The Emergence of SIGNIS, Brussels, 2009.
- Guido Convents and Tom Van Beeck, "Forum. Documenting Catholic Media Activities all over the World: the SIGNIS, OCIC and Unda Archives" (1928–1998), p. 113-121, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol. 29 (1), mars 2009.
- Guido Convents, Frank and Mary Frost, "90 Years of a North American Presence in SIGNIS", p. 4-8, SIGNIS Media nr 2, Brussels/Quebec, june 2017.
- Molhant, Robert. Catholics and the Cinema. A strange story of fears and passions. The beginnings: 1895–1935. Brussels: SIGNIS,2003.
- Susanna Petrin, "The first Swiss film buff was a Priest", Swiss review, 19 May 2017
- Daniel Biltereyst, The Roman Catholic church and film exhibition in Belgium, 1926–1940. p.193-214, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 27(2), 2007.
- Guido Convents, "Resisting the lure of the modern: Catholics, international politics, and the Establishment of the International Catholic Office for Cinema (1918–1928)", p.19-24, Daniël Biltereyst, Daniela Treveri Gennari eds.Moralizing cinema: film, Catholicism and power, Publisher: Routledge, New York, 2015.
- Guido Convents, "Looking for the roots of SIGNIS", SIGNIS Media, No.1, p.29-30, Brussels 2003.
- Guido Convents,"Looking for the roots of SIGNIS", p.33-34,SIGNIS Media, No.2-3, Brussels 2003.
- Guido Convents, "Looking for the roots of SIGNIS", p.29-30,SIGNIS Media, No.4, Brussels 2003.
- Frank Luther Mott,A History of American Magazines,p.76-77, Cambridge 1970
- "La presse catholique internationale à la Maison de la Bonne Presse", La Croix, Paris, December 17, 1927
- "Congrès Universel de la Presse Catholique", La Croix, Paris, July 15, 1930
- "L'Union Internationale de la Presse catholique se réunit à Liège", La Croix, Paris, août 30, 1925
- "Le second Congrès International des Journalistes Catholiques (Rome, 24-27 septembre 1936)", La Croix, Paris, July 10, 1936
- "Internationale Unie der Katholieke pers. Congres te Breda", Het Vaderland, Paris, December 11, 1937
- Michel Kubler, "Religions et médias en face à face au Congrès de l'UCIP", La Croix, Paris, June 12, 2007
- Claire Lesgretain, "Le Vatican fait pression pour aider l'Ucip à sortir d'une grave crise", La Croix, Paris, Avril 13,2011
- Guido Convents, "Looking for the roots of SIGNIS",p.27-28,SIGNIS Media, No.5, Brussels 2003
- Malone, Peter (ed.). The Emergence of SIGNIS. Celebrating 80 years of Catholic presence in the Media with Unda, OCIC and SIGNIS.Brussels/Chang Mai: SIGNIS,2009
- Bernardo Suate, "SIGNIS Services in Rome", p.154-159; Peter Malone (ed.),The Emergence of SIGNIS, Brussels, 2009.
- the promotion of films: Molhant, Robert. OCIC Awards at Film Festivals and Grand Prix 1947–1966: The First Twenty Years. Brussels:OCIC Editions, 2000
- Peter Malone, "The Cinema tradition, p.126-131; Peter Malone (ed.),The Emergence of SIGNIS, Brussels, 2009.
- Guido Convents, "The work of SIGNIS juries in Film and Television Festivals, p.132-139; Peter Malone (ed.),The Emergence of SIGNIS, Brussels, 2009
- SECRETARIAT FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN UNITY - WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES, Common Witness and Proselytism, "Information Service" 14 (1971), pp. 18-23; about the interpretation of the Scripture and the will of the ecclesial authorities on the unity of witness, see also: WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES / ROMAN CATHOLIC JOINT WORKING GROUP, Common Witness,"Information Service" 44 (1980), pp. 142-162
- Convents, Guido, "The work of SIGNIS Juries in Film and Television Festivals", pp. 132–139; in Malone, Peter (ed.). The Emergence of SIGNIS. Celebrating 80 years of Catholic presence in the Media with Unda, OCIC and SIGNIS.Brussels/Chang Mai: SIGNIS,2009
- Robert Molhant, "The A SIGNIS programme for Catholic Television Stations", p.115-125; Peter Malone (ed.), The Emergence of SIGNIS, Brussels, 2009.
- Jim McDonnell, "Speaking up for Justice – the role of Advocacy in SIGNIS", p.140-147; Peter Malone (ed.), The Emergence of SIGNIS, Brussels, 2009.
- "Media Education. Johannesburg SIGNIS Charter on Media Education. Building a Global Community of Media Educators", p.148-154; Peter Malone (ed.), The Emergence of SIGNIS, Brussels, 2009.
- "Radio", p.121-125; Peter Malone (ed.), The Emergence of SIGNIS, Brussels, 2009.