The Vatican Secretariat of State sent a warning to the operators of InfoVaticana, the Spanish professional journalists, last year. The news site, according to the accusation, operates by naming itself "Vatican" in the name of unfair competition through misleading advertising. The Vatican is serious. The State Secretariat appointed Baker & McKenzie, one of the top 10 global law firms, to take legal action against InfoVaticana. Cannons were used to shoot sparrows, said Gabriel Ariza and Fernando Beltrán, founders and operators of InfoVaticana .
They see the real reason for the unusual Vatican approach in their basic attitude and the pope-critical reporting. The independent platform has in the past published critical accounts of certain acts and statements of the ruling Pope, as well as of Spanish bishops, including the Archbishop of Madrid appointed by Pope Francis.
InfoVaticana is part of the media group Grupo Intereconomía (television, radio, Internet media) and was created in 2013 as a faithful and faithful counterweight to the progressive, sometimes anti-Church news platform, Religion Digital. Both sites are not limited to Spain, but supply the entire Spanish-speaking world. They exert considerable influence on the formation of opinion in Catholic circles.
While attorney action is being taken against InfoVaticana, last April 19, Pope Francis welcomed the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Religion Digital, ex-priest José Manuel Vidal, and the Vatican's ex-Jesuit liberation theologian and former Jesuit, José Maria Castillo.
Mute critical coverageIt is, therefore, the internal church orientation with the critical reporting and not the name that disturbs certain circles in the Vatican. This claim by the InfoVaticana operators has been denied by the Vatican so far, but just a few days ago it received an indirect, but notable, confirmation.
InfoVaticana drew attention to the fact that it is general and unobjectionable practice to designate media according to a specific city, area or country, where they are based or which form a focal point of reporting. As examples they named the New York Times, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. The list could be continued ad nauseam. The main topic of the reporting of InfoVaticana is the Vatican and the Catholic Church.
In addition, it has been shown that there are numerous media in one form or another containing "Vatican" in the name, without being warned or legally prosecuted by the Vatican Secretariat of State. In this one-sided persecution, the operators of InfoVaticana find evidence that the allegations are only a pretext to "silence" a disapproving voice.
Confirmation of this thesis was provided by the Vatican itself with a letter from Pope Francis, which - as usual in such cases - was prepared by the State Secretariat. The now known letter is dated 5 May 2018 and is addressed to Maurizio Molinari, since 2016 editor-in-chief of the supra-regional Italian newspaper La Stampa.
La Stampa is not only a journalistic expression of the liberal, above all Turin's bourgeoisie, but traditionally also of Italian Jewry. Molinari is also a Jew. More important in the matter is that La Stampa since 2011 publishes the Internet publication Vatican Insider , which - like InfoVaticana - publishes information about the Vatican and World Church. The coordinator of Vatican Insider since its founding is Andrea Tornielli, who rose to papal house Vaticanista under Pope Francis. His contributions often serve Francis as a direct mouthpiece. Tornielli's information, which has free access to the Pope, usually comes first hand.
The letter from Pope FrancisMolinari is not reprimanded in the papal letter for unfair competition by misleading advertisements, nor is Laixa's legal action taken against Vatican Insider by the Vatican Secretariat. But on the contrary.
The text of the letter from Pope Francis to Maurizio Molinari:
Dear Mr. Molinari,
At a time when everyone is talking and commenting but not all willing to listen and think, the role of professional information is all the more necessary. Social media are now widely used tools worldwide and provide people with a great opportunity. However, this multiplication of the information offered and the spaces on the Internet, make the role of professional journalists and quality journalism even more important. A journalism that is not only committed to professional ethics by providing good information, but also understands how to bring good news in the difficult context we live in: that of deepening and comparing, always with respect the dignity of the persons. An information that does not fall into fruitless contrasts, in superficiality, in gossip. An information that is not content merely to describe what is already in the spotlight, does not forget the dramatic situations about which no one speaks, and that never tires of telling people's stories with the necessary sensitivity and humanity with particular attention to the vulnerable, the last, the marginalized, those who have no power. An information capable of explaining the complexity of the reality we live in without giving way to templates and propaganda.
I wish the daily newspaper La Stampa, which has renewed its outward appearance, and Vatican Insider, the website of La Stampa dedicated to religious information, always to offer its readers good information and good news.
Please, do not forget to pray for me. May the Lord bless you and the Blessed Mother protect you.
brotherlyText: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: InfoVaticana / Vatican Insider (Screenshots)
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org