The Elèutheros Manifesto.
In the modern world, more and more documents and services are made available in digital format. Even if it can be a source of huge progress for all humankind, this phenomenon often happens through technologies which become obsolete in a few years, are incompatible with each other or cannot be afforded by everybody. This fact creates serious obstacles to a really free communication among people, to the preservation of the cultural and spiritual heritage of humankind and to the diffusion of the Word of God.
The mission of the Church can be slowed down also when Her documents, from Holy Scriptures to Encyclicals and other official texts, cannot be distributed freely.
In addition to this, often many Catholics commit a crime, even if only for lack of adequate information,by using illegally installed proprietary software.
The Catholic Church and all Catholics cannot afford anymore to ignore these problems, because they interfere with Her/their mission and because practicable alternatives already exist.
On the basis of official Church documents like Encyclicals [Free Software's surprising sympathy with Catholic doctrine] and CEI directorates [Software Libero, Comunicazione e Missione], we are convinced that there are strong ideal affinities between Christianity, the philosophy of Free Software [The Free Software Definition] and the adoption of Open Formats and Protocols [The Frequently Asked Questions of the Eleutheros Project]. We believe it is evident that the usage of such instruments is much more in line with Catholic Doctrine than fully closed, non Free solutions.
Elèutheros is an association of Catholics whose mission is to serve the Catholic Church through promotion and development of an always increasing harmony between the doctrinal principles mentioned above and the concrete choices made in the Information Technology field at all levels in the ecclesiastical world: from Parishes to Dioceses, from School to Congregations, up to Bishop Conferences and the Vatican itself.
For the reasons mentioned above, Elèutheros intends to:
- engage in the study of the Scriptures and the Ecclesiastical Teaching, of classical texts and, in general, of Catholic literature, in order to highlight references, ideas and principles which may sustain the ethical values of Free Software and the adoption of Open Formats and Protocols.
- increase among Catholics the awareness of the importance of Free Software and Open Formats and Protocols, as well as their ethical values.
- Regardless of which software is adopted, propose that only Open Formats and Protocols are used, by all Catholic Organizations to store or manage any kind of digital data, like for example text, images or music. Only this can guarantee that all digital documents are completely accessible to everybody, including those who cannot afford state of the art computers or the purchase of proprietary software, and above all that such documents remain available forever.
- propose that, whenever it is possible, Free Software is used instead of proprietary software in all Catholic Organizations.
- Request that, without exception, teaching of programming and basic Information Technology in all Catholic Schools and Universities is performed using Free Software.
- Promote, towards all Ecclesiastical Organizations, the creation of directives which require the mandatory adoption, in all Catholic organizations, of the IT solutions proposed by Elèutheros, giving absolute priority to Open Formats.
- Promote, in all Ecclesiastical Organizations, methods of distribution of all Catholic documents which guarantee the greatest diffusion of the Gospel and of the Church message.
Contacts with other denominations
Catholic inspiration and action for, and inside, the Catholic Church are at the center of the Elèutheros mission. This said, Elèutheros hopes that there will be cooperation with other Christian groups of any denomination, in order to achieve the goals of Elèutheros. Even cooperation or common activities with non-Christian religious groups is not excluded.