VATICAN CITY, JULY 5, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI today visited the offices of the semi-official Vatican daily, L’Osservatore Romano, to mark the newspaper’s 150th anniversary.
L’Osservatore’s first edition was published July 1, 1861. The Pope offered his birthday congratulations wholeheartedly, he said, “as one does at home.”
“For some time I have been truly curious to see how a newspaper is produced today,” the Holy Father said. “I now have the joy of discovering the modern method, totally different from what it was 50 years ago, which brings a newspaper into being. It demands far more human creativity, let us say, than technical work.”
He suggested that L’Osservatore Romano staff must above all be dedicated to “knowing, to thinking, to judging and to reflecting.”
“It is above all a great observatory, as its name says. An observatory for seeing the reality of this world and for informing ourselves of this reality,” the Pope said.
Near and far
He reflected that from this “observatory,” both distant and nearby elements are seen.
Distant, the Holy Father clarified, in a geographical sense — as the Philippines, Australia or Latin America. He proposed in this regard that the universal scope of L’Osservatore Romano is one of its great advantages.
“I am really grateful for this,” he said, adding that newspapers tend to focus on the world in which they are written, “and this makes us forget many other parts of the earth that are no less important.”
A second sense in which L’Osservatore Romano sees the distant is by its going to the root of events, the Pontiff suggested. “Beyond the surface it shows us the cultural roots and the depth of things.”
Benedict XVI said he considers L’Osservatore “not only a newspaper but also a cultural journal.”
“I admire the fact that it is possible every day to make important contributions that help us understand better the human being, the roots from which things come and how they should be understood, brought about and transformed,” he said.
More than info
Benedict XVI also lauded the daily for its discernment. “No one can be informed about everything,” he said. “Even the most globalized media, so to speak, cannot say everything: it is impossible. Discernment, a choice, is always necessary. Hence in presenting events the criterion of choice is crucial: there is never pure fact, there is always also a choice that determines what appears and what does not appear. And we know well that the priority choices today, in many organs of public opinion, are often highly disputable.”
He went on to note how L’Osservatore Romano draws from the criteria of natural law and the Gospel.
With these two criteria, the Pope proposed, “we have justice as our criterion and, moreover, the hope that derives from faith. Together, these two criteria — justice that respects everyone and hope that sees even negative things in the light of a divine goodness of which we may be sure through faith — really help to offer a human, a humanistic, information in the sense of a humanism whose roots are in God’s goodness. And in this way it is not only information but, really, cultural formation.”
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Full text: www.zenit.org/article-33007?l=english