Cardinal: Pro-Press Pope Has High Hopes for Daily

Vatican Official Notes Importance of L’Osservatore Romano

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 7, 2008 ( The press plays a powerful role in the capacity of perceiving the real world, which is why Benedict XVI gives it priority, according to his secretary of state.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone spoke with L’Osservatore Romano about the Pope’s interest in the role of the media, reflected not only when he refers to journalism in his messages, but also through his encouragement of the Vatican’s semi-official newspaper.

L’Osservatore Romano is not just an internal publication of the Holy See, but “deserves to be known and read as a means of communication where each Christian can find faithful reproductions of the Pope’s thought and the activities of the Holy See,” noted the cardinal.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone — in the paper’s Italian Sunday edition — noted the influence the press has in affecting popular perception of the world.

For example, he cautioned against the fallacy of describing the world as a global village, since in this “village” not all of the inhabitants enjoy the same opportunities in the realms of justice, material benefits, education and so on. “Precisely the capacity of perceiving the real world, so different than the virtual world, depends on the access to the new and traditional communications media.”

“Thus it is evident the importance that Benedict XVI, so faithful to the Council that has pushed the Church in this new dimension, gives to information,” he affirmed.

Even evangelization often passes through a filter created by the press, Cardinal Bertone said, which implies that the Church “has to be capable of announcing the Jesus of the Gospels and his message of salvation valuing as much as possible the techniques proper to the ever evolving field of communication.”

Globalization and evangelization are, therefore, the framework for the renovation of L’Osservatore Romano that has taken place since its new director, Giovanni Maria Vian, took office in October, he said.

“I think L’Osservatore Romano is effectively trying to gradually fulfill the objectives set out by the Holy Father,” Cardinal Bertone affirmed, pushing toward a “vigorous project that includes amplifying the use of technologies to consolidate a solid presence on the Internet, applying adequate marketing principles, perfecting the level of professionalism and achieving a place for itself with a unique and distinct voice, recognized and respected, in the arrangement of the international press.”

Thus, the cardinal noted, it is understandable the “depth of the Pope’s expectations and his sensitivity in desiring that the newspaper be a perfected instrument of dialogue and listening within the Catholic Church represented in its variety, but also in the colloquy with the other Churches and religions, with cultures, sciences and the new branches of investigation about man.”

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