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Visit of the Holy Father to the Dicastery for Communication, 24.05.2021

This morning, the Holy Father Francis left Casa Santa Marta and transferred by car to Palazzo Pio for a visit to the Dicastery for Communication.

Upon arrival, Pope Francis was welcomed by the prefect of the Dicastery, Dr. Paolo Ruffini, and by the Secretary of the Dicastery, Msgr. Lucio Adriàn Ruiz.

In the atrium, the Holy Father greeted the Directors of the Dicastery and eight editors from different continents.

The Holy Father then took the lift to the second floor and visited the Editorial Office, the Directorate of "L'Osservatore Romano" and the Chapel where he read the Prayer for Social Communications and recited the Hail Mary.

After the moment of prayer, the Pope took the lift to the fourth floor and from Directorate 9 of Vatican Radio he addressed a live greeting to the listeners.

He then visited the Open Space on the first floor and immediately went to the Marconi Hall. After the introductory greeting by Dr. Ruffini, the Holy Father addressed a few words to the editors present.

At the end of the visit, the Pope left Palazzo Pio and returned to the Vatican.

Below we publish the Prayer for Social Communications read by the Holy Father, the live radio broadcast and the Pope's words to the editors:


Prayer of the Holy Father

Prayer for the 55th World Communications Day


"Come and see" (Jn 1:46).

Communicating by meeting people

where and as they are


Lord, teach us to come out of ourselves

and to set out in search of the truth.

Teach us to go and see,

teach us to listen,

not to cultivate prejudices,

not to draw hasty conclusions.

Teach us to go


Where no one wants to go

to take time to understand,

to pay attention to the essential,

not to be distracted by the superfluous,

to distinguish the deceptive appearance from the truth.


Give us the grace to recognise


your dwellings in the world

and the honesty to tell

what we have seen.




Live radio address of the Holy Father

Pope Francis:

Thank you for your work, for what you do. I have only one concern - there are many reasons to be concerned about the Radio, about L'Osservatore Romano - but one that touches my heart: how many listen to the Radio, and how many read L'Osservatore Romano? Because our work is to reach the people: that what we work on here, which is beautiful, great, and laborious, reaches the people, both with translations and also by short waves, as you said... The question you must ask is: "How many? How many people does it reach?", because there is a danger - for all organisations - that despite a good organisation, good work, it doesn't get where it needs to go... A bit like the story of the birth of the mouse: the mountain that gives birth to the mouse... Every day ask yourself this question: how many people do we reach? How many people get the message of Jesus through "L'Osservatore Romano"? This is very important, very important!


Massimiliano Menichetti:

As you urge us to do, we also try a little bit to integrate and become more communicative, not to give voice to whoever shouts the loudest. This is something you always stress. We will be asking ourselves this question, we are asking it, we are already asking it: it is in a sense the fruit of this reform that you called for and that is somewhat visible in this visit, that is to say, trying to integrate this system and to reach as many people as possible. As a radio station - and I can agree with you on the basis of this exhortation - more than a thousand radio stations around the world record us, that is, they record our content and in turn send it back through their systems. It is a service that we try to do. Thank you, Holy Father.


Luca Collodi:

If I may add, Holy Father, in comfort of what you are telling us: Radio today is a living instrument, an instrument that, despite the new technologies, remains always an instrument that reaches the people and is in perfect health. And this can be a help, a contribution to achieve what you are saying.


Pope Francis:

Yes, that's true, that's true.


Massimiliano Menichetti:

Thank you, thank you very much.


The Holy Father's words to the editors

Pope Francis:

Thank you very much for your work. I am happy, I have seen you all together here. I have seen this well organised building, and I like that. The unity of the work... The issue is that this large and complicated system works. I am reminded of a tendency in Argentina: when someone was appointed to an important position, the first thing he did was to go to Nordiska, a company to do the interiors, without looking at his desk, his studio, he sent everything new, everything perfect, beautiful. The first decision that minister, that official, made. Then, it didn't work. The important thing is that all this beauty, all this organisation works. To function is to go ahead... The great enemy of functioning well is functionalism. For example, I am the head of a section, I am the secretary of that section, the leader. But I have seven sub-secretaries. Everything is always fine, fine. Someone has a problem, goes to the under-secretary who has to solve it, who says: "Wait a moment, then I'll answer you". He takes it and calls the secretary... I mean: they're useless. Incapable of deciding, incapable of taking the initiative. Functionalism is lethal. It puts an institution to sleep and kills it. Be careful not to fall into this trap: it doesn't matter how many places there are, whether the studio is beautiful or not. What matters is that it works, that it is functional, and not a victim of functionalism. Be careful, careful about that. And when something is functional, it helps creativity. Your work must be creative, always, and go beyond, beyond, beyond: creative. That is called functioning. But if a work is too well ordered, it ends up caged and is not useful. This is the only thing that, seeing such a beautiful organisation, so well done, seeing all of you together, I have to say: be careful! No functionalism. Yes, functional to the work, what you have to do. And for a structure to be functional, everyone must have sufficient freedom to function. That they have the ability to take risks and not go asking for permission, permission, permission...: this paralyses. Functional, not functionalistic. Understand? Go ahead and be brave. Thank you!