Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $36,784 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on

Pope salutes L'Osservatore on 150th anniversary

Catholic World News - June 30, 2011

L’Osservatore Romano must act as “a paper of ideas, an organ of formation and not only of information,” Pope Benedict XVI said in a message to the paper’s editor, Giovanni Maria Vian, as the Vatican newspaper prepared to celebrate its 150th anniversary.

The first edition of L’Osservatore Romano appeared on July 1, 1861. That time was, Pope Benedict observed, a turbulent period for the papacy, and a time when the political forces of the world seemed to be arrayed against the Vatican. In his congratulatory message, the Pope noted that from the outset the newspaper was guided by both a willingness to embrace differing opinions and a determination to uphold Catholic truth. The Pontiff called attention to the two mottos that have appeared on the newspaper’s masthead: Unicuique suum [to each his own] and Non praevalebunt [they shall not prevail].

During the 150 years of the newspaper’s existence, “the world has changed profoundly,” the Pope said, “especially in the communications and information sector.” But L’Osservatore Romano has remained as a clear voice of the Church. That service has been particularly valuable, the Pope said, during times of war and turmoil in the 20th century, when the clash of ideologies and propaganda caused widespread confusion. Pope Benedict quoted the words of Cardinal Giovanni Montini in 1961, two years before his election as Pope Paul VI:

It was like what happens when all the lights in a room are switched off and only one is left one: everyone’s gaze is directed to the one left on; and fortunately this was the light of the Vatican, the calm bright light fed by the apostolic light of Peter.

L’Osservatore Romano must continue the same service today, the Pope wrote, in an era “frequently marked by the lack of reference points and the removal of God from the horizon of many societies, even of those with an ancient Christian tradition.” Pope Benedict cited several specific areas in which the newspaper’s coverage is needed, calling for attention “to the Christian East, to the irreversible ecumenical commitment of the different churches and ecclesial communities, to the constant quest for friendship and collaboration with Judaism and with the other religions, to discussion and to cultural exchanges, to the voice of women and to bioethical topics that give rise to questions crucial to us all.”

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($125,163 to go):
$150,000.00 $24,837.05
83% 17%
Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on

Recent Catholic Commentary

The Church Moves On, Slowly 10 hours ago
Is Cardinal Kasper losing his grip? 14 hours ago
The Pope is not the problem October 23
Do not confuse sacramental discipline and Catholic doctrine. October 23
Ignatius Press into the Breach: Trumping the Kasper Proposal October 22

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6