The Vatican Television Center announced today an agreement made with Canal 21, the Catholic television station of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires which would pave the way for a vast collection of videos of Pope Francis when he served as Archbishop of Buenos Aires. Details of the agreement were given during a press conference held today at the Holy See Press Office.
Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, the president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communication stated that with the upcoming 30th anniversary of CTV, the television center is working on several initiatives to update their current archive of footage.
CTV will be working alongside Sony to digitize their footage from standard definition to high definition footage as well as updating their video production control room. The project began with the acquisition of a high definition mobile unit as well as the collaboration with Sony in constructing a brand new Master Control Room on the top floor of the Vatican Television building. The new structure will transform video signals into files that will facilitate distribution and storage of the images.
“The entire process, from shooting, to editing, to archiving, will become “tapeless”, that is, without the use of the magnetic tapes that are still the weak point in the creation and maintenance of valuable archives such as Vatican Television’s, which holds 30 years of images from the pontificates of John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and now Pope Francis,” a communique from the Holy See Press Office stated.
Building Bridges Through Imagery
Msgr. Dario E. Viganó, director of the Vatican Television Center, and Dr. Julio Rimoldi, director of Canal 21 detailed their new agreement which would archive and make accessible videos from then Cardinal Bergoglio’s service as Archbishop of Buenos Aires from his episcopal ordination in 1992 till his election as Pope. The director of CTV stated that Pope Francis personally approved the agreement with Canal 21
“We have many images of Cardinal Bergoglio during his visits to the slums and favelas [of Argentina], celebrations of Mass and also a series of broadcasts on interreligious dialogue,” Msgr. Viganó explained. “We have a large archive. This agreement is the result of a precise instruction from Pope Francis who we met with the other day”
Msgr. Viganó also read a statement made by Pope Francis on the agreement with Canal 21. “I am pleased with the agreement that was made between the Vatican Television Center and Canal 21,” the Holy Father stated.
“It is a concrete way to make known in Italy and in Europe the reality of the Church of Buenos Aires, thanks to the solidarity and cooperation of the people and of the Italian Church, can count on a diocesan Catholic TV [station]. The use of images helps to build bridges and to know different ways of being a Church in the various latitudes of the world. They help in some way to make us less strangers and to foster communion.”
Dr. Rimoldi recalled his conversations with the then Cardinal Bergoglio, who collaborated in founding Canal 21.
“In 2004 we began Canal 21 with many difficulties,” Rimoldi said. “As many of you may know, Cardinal Bergoglio did not watch TV or listened to the radio but he understood the fundamental importance of television as a tool of the evangelization. It is not by chance that the Pope Francis asks for a Church that isn’t self-referential and asks for a Church that goes out on the streets.
Dr, Rimoldi, who worked together with Pope Francis for the past 20 years in Buenos Aires, stated that television coincides with the Holy Father’s desire to reach those far away. “For him (Pope Francis), television was a part of the mission to go out and meet others.