The first issue of L’Osservatore Romano newspaper for Argentina went on sale today in the kiosks of Pope Francis’ native land. It includes a hand written message of Pope Francis for the occasion. The Pontiff has reportedly yet to receive a copy of the first issue, which will arrive shortly by post, but he did see the drafts of this first issue.
“I greet with joy the renewed presence of L’Osservatore Romano in Argentina. Through the Holy See’s newspaper, the Pope’s service will be known directly. I pray to the Lord to bless those working on this project of service to the Kingdom of God; may the Holy Virgin take care of them. And, please, I ask the readers not to forget to pray for me,” wrote the Holy Father.
This new edition will come out in January and February and, beginning in March, will be published weekly. It has the contents of the weekly Spanish edition that is already published, with the idiomatic uses characteristic of the South American country and five of the 16 pages dedicated to local articles.
This issue has been printed in Buenos Aires with 40,000 copies and is being distributed with the Perfil newspaper. It will serve for the Pope’s complete voice to reach the country, without the need of spokespersons, real or self-proclaimed.
Sharing this opinion is the Rector of the Argentine Catholic University, Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez, who in a recent article pointed out how the Pope’s words and news sometimes are “partialized” and “manipulated” in the country, taking them out of context.
The edition is being coordinated by the Protestant theologian Marcelo Figueroa, pointing out the importance of the ecumenical character that the Holy Father desires, and is directed by the Argentine journalist Silvina Perez, whereas the General Director of all the newspaper’s editions is Italian Giovanni Maria Vian.
Speaking with ZENIT, Silvina Perez said that the Argentine Episcopal Conference is very happy with the initiative and participating very much, adding that last July, Marcelo Figueroa and Santiago Pont Lezica talked about this idea with the Holy Father.
Writing in this first issue also are Rabbi Abraham Skorka, long-time friend of the Pope, who has accompanied him in several events during the pontificate, such as at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem and the meeting with Mahmud Abbas and Shimon Peres in the Vatican, and also the Argentine theologian Carlos Galli, professor at the Argentine Catholic University.