New measures after communication problems

Report: Pope Francis wants to tighten up dealings with the press

Vatican City - Pope Francis has repeatedly caused criticism with spontaneous statements at non-public meetings – most recently on homosexual candidates for the priesthood, for example. Now the Vatican wants to have more control over spontaneous statements made by the Pope.

Published  on 11.06.2024 at 10:41  – 

Pope Francis is said to have decided to further tighten the handling of the press accredited to the Holy See. The Italian newspaper "Il Messaggero" reported on Sunday that the pontiff had added further restrictions to those already in place. For example, many of the audio recordings of the group audiences in the Apostolic Palace will no longer be available, nor will the prepared texts of the speeches. These were always provided with a blocking period and distributed to journalists in order to facilitate press work. Only the speeches at the general audience on Wednesday and at the Angelus prayer on Sunday will remain available in advance. The texts to be distributed to journalists are only those actually spoken by the Pope, in order to give the Vatican a certain degree of control over spontaneous statements.

According to the report, the new measures are intended to supplement the existing ones that the head of the Church has issued in the course of his pontificate. These include the ban on an international press pool during visits by heads of state and interview questions when travelling internationally. Questions are therefore only permitted if they are directly related to the country visited and its history. "Journalists are being kept at a safe distance during this phase of the pontificate, which is characterised by disputes within the Church," the report states. Francis prefers to choose his dialogue partners for in-depth interviews himself.

The incidents in the Pope's communication are numerous, especially those words that are misunderstood and misinterpreted. Only recently, at a non-public meeting with Italian bishops, the Pope warned that in the seminaries there werethere was too much "faggotry" in the seminaries. After these words were first publicised in the Italian and then the international media, the Pope distanced himself from them,the Pope distanced himself from this statement. The Vatican published an official apology and emphasised that the Pontiff had not intended to offend anyone.A passage from an interview with the American television station CBS also caused a stir, in which the Pope strictly against the diaconate of women diaconate. Likewise he recently rowed back on his clericalism statements. back down. (mtr)