By Linda Bordoni
A statement released by Paolo Ruffini, Prefect of the Dicastery for Communication (Vatican News' parent organization), following the announcement of two important appointments by the Pope for Vatican Media on 18 December, underscored his firm commitment to forge ahead with the mission entrusted to him by the Pontiff.
“As the Pope said, there is no need to be afraid of the word, reform” Ruffini said, explaining that “reform is not whitewashing, but organizing things differently”.
Quoting from St Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians “there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone,” Ruffini said that his task as Prefect sees him working every day to give unity to the Vatican’s “plurality of languages without losing anything of their specificity and of their stories.”
Reiterating that his task is rooted in the mission of the Gospel, he said “from the start the proclamation of the Gospel was and remains our compass”.
Tornielli and Monda
Commenting on the appointments of Andrea Tornielli (as Editorial Director of the Dicastery) and of Andrea Monda (as Editor-in-Chief of the “Osservatore Romano”), Ruffini said that something they have in common is the fact that they are both journalists who look beyond appearances, who are at home with the plurality of languages and platforms of our time, who know how to listen.
“They are both journalists and writers. Both can speak to all generations, also to the young. Both are bridge builders” he said.
Ruffini said that with Tornielli as Editorial Director responsible for coordinating all Vatican media, “we will have a safe, authoritative and far-sighted guide” who is aware of but not intimidated by the history of the different Vatican media platforms and who looks to a future that can be built together, step by step.
With Andrea Monda, he continued, the “Osservatore Romano” will be able to continue developing new projects rooted in its long history.
Ruffini described the Holy See’s daily newspaper as “one of the pillars of our communication” saying it is now called to be increasingly involved in a process that integrates all Vatican media as requested by Pope Francis in his Motu Proprio that established the Dicastery of Communication.
He also expressed gratitude to former Editor-in-Chief of the “Osservatore Romano”, Giovanni Maria Vian, who headed the newspaper “with passion and competence” for more than 11 years.
Under Vian, Ruffini said, the newspaper has been renewed “in its contents, in its language, in its graphic form”. He noted the paper’s focus on a cultural dialogue with high-level personalities, both ecclesial and lay, describing it as “particularly significant” and said it has enriched and expanded its offer; and he praised the openness of the editorial staff to the contribution of women journalists, “a fruitful novelty in the history of more than a hundred years of daily life”.
The choice of Andrea Monda as the new Editor-in-Chief, Ruffini said, is “a challenge and a response to the Pope’s appeal to be ‘a Church that goes forth’ and to ‘initiate new processes’ in the field of communications.
Journalism at the service of all
Ruffini concluded recalling the Pope’ Message for last World Day of Social Communications in which Francis called for “A journalism created by people for people, one that is at the service of all, especially those – and they are the majority in our world – who have no voice”.