Pope Meets Privately With Italian News Editors

Greets Them Personally

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 24, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Before his audience with some 5,000 journalists, Benedict XVI met privately with a select group of Italian newspaper editors and television directors.

The Holy Father thanked them Saturday for all of their efforts, from the two hospitalizations and death of John Paul II, to his own election as Pope. «I know you have worked very much and we are pleased with the way everything went,» said the Pontiff.

The meeting, which lasted just over five minutes, was attended by the editors of Avvenire, Il Corriere della Sera, Il Tempo, Il Messaggero, the assistant editor of La Repubblica, as well as the directors of the two largest television networks in Italy — RAI and Mediaset.

The meeting took place in one of the private halls next to Paul VI Hall.

Antonio Pelayo, president of the Foreign Press Association in Italy, told ZENIT that the Pope spoke personally with the media leaders.

Paolo Mieli, director of Il Corriere della Sera, reminded the Pope of the press conference they held together to present John Paul II’s book «Memory and Identity.»

The Pope commented to Clemente Mimum, Jewish journalist and director of the news program of channel «RAI-1,» that he usually watches the network’s 8 p.m. news. Benedict XVI also noted that the Jewish feast of Passover was being celebrated that day.

Fabrizio Del Noce, director of RAI 1, introduced himself as the son of the philosopher Augusto Del Noce: «I remember him very well; he always defended me,» said the Holy Father.

He also thanked Dino Boffo for his news coverage as director of Avvenire, of Sat2000 television, and of InBlu radio network, all Catholic media.

The Holy Father greeted Salvatore Mazza, correspondent of Avvenire in the Vatican, and president of AIGAV, the association of journalists accredited by the Vatican press office.

Benedict XVI stated in general that he reads the newspapers to keep abreast of current events.

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