The paper analyzes the use of documentary films by Catholics in the 1940s and 1950s, during the pontificate of Pius XII. Research on the relationship be-tween cinema and Catholics has so far mainly focused on fiction films. Further research on archival documents, however, has shown that Catholics also payed attention to the documentary as both a pedagogical and propaganda tool. To promote documentaries, Catholics followed three lines: first, they produced doc-umentaries on their own; second, they had them realized by external production companies close to the Catholic world; third, they distributed documentaries of their own interest in their circuits (parish halls, Christian Democracy sections) and the industrial ones (through the compulsory programming system). Such docu-mentaries included those of anticommunist propaganda during election cam-paigns. In general, the documentary became part of the Catholics’ battle for cin-ema control.
Keywords: Catholics and cinema, documentary film, education and propaganda, Pius XII, Catholic world, Christian Democracy