In a gathering at the Vatican Apostolic Palace, His Holiness Pope Francis expressed gratitude and encouragement to members of the International Association of Journalists accredited to the Vatican. The Holy Father received the journalists in an audience where he acknowledged their vital role in informing the public about the activities of the Holy See.
In a January 22 address, Pope Francis welcomed the journalists, referring to them as his “travelling companions” and expressed appreciation for their dedication in reporting on the Holy See and the Church. He recognized their diverse roles as journalists, media workers, photographers, and producers, emphasizing the unity in their mission.
Addressing the journalists, Pope Francis likened their vocation to that of a doctor who chooses to love humanity by curing illnesses, stating, “Being a journalist is a vocation, somewhat like that of a doctor, who chooses to love humanity by curing illnesses.” He acknowledged their commitment to touching the wounds of society and the world, urging them to return to the roots of their vocation and remember the calling that unites them in this essential task.
Pope Francis extended gratitude not only for the news coverage provided but also for the journalists’ constancy and patience in reporting on the Holy See and the Church, institutions that transcend the immediate present. He expressed understanding for the sacrifices made by journalists, especially those who follow him globally, often working on weekends and holidays.
Reflecting on the role of Vatican experts, or “vaticanistas,” in recounting the Church’s journey, Pope Francis encouraged humility and a genuine love for humanity. He quoted one veteran journalist who described Vaticanism as “a job that is fast to the point of being ruthless” and emphasized the importance of seeking and narrating stories of life.
The Pope acknowledged the delicate manner in which journalists often report on scandals within the Church, expressing gratitude for their respectful and considerate approach. He urged journalists to resist manipulation of the Church’s image and emphasized the need to resist the temptation to deform religious news with ideological or sensationalistic interpretations.
Pope Francis concluded his address by commending journalists for their commitment to truth and responsible reporting. He recognized their role in capturing the essential aspects of news, free from superficial stereotypes, and encouraged them to continue their mission with a spirit of discernment and love.