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Monday, June 27, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 27 JUN 2011 (VIS) - At midday today in the Holy See Press Office, a press conference was held to present the new Vatican internet portal "news.va", which will be inaugurated by the Pope tomorrow, 28 June, eve of the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul.

  Participating in today's event were: Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications; Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office; Giovanni Maria Vian, director of the "Osservatore Romano" newspaper; Gustavo Entrala, founder and director of the 101 advertising agency, and Thaddeus Jones, an official of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

  Archbishop Celli expressed his happiness at having the opportunity to present the new multimedia portal which will come online on 29 June, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles, "thus completing the task entrusted to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications by the Secretariat of State", he said.

  "Our desire", he went on, is to ensure that the new portal "should be an expression of our faithfulness and dedication to the Holy Father, for the sixtieth anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood".

  The president of the dicastery explained how it will now be possible "to consult at news.va the principal news items printed or transmitted by other Vatican media outlets": the "Osservatore Romano", Vatican Radio, the Vatican Information Service, Agenzia Fides, the Holy See Press Office and the Vatican Television Centre.

  The new portal will contain news items relating to the words and activities of the Holy Father in the course of his Magisterium, declarations issued by the various dicasteries of the Holy See, and information about important global events and situations affecting the particular Churches.

  "For the first few months", Archbishop Celli explained, "the portal will be available in just two languages: Italian and English. ... After the summer the website will be restyled and at least one new language added, perhaps Spanish. Subsequently it will also become available in French and Portuguese".

  Concerning its relationship with other Vatican media outlets, the archbishop pointed out that the new portal "will not have a specific editorial slant. ... Each of the outlets will maintain its own autonomy and identity, as will be evident from the way in which the information is presented".

  The main Vatican website (vatican.va) "will not disappear, but will continue its mission to put the Holy Father's Magisterium online. Since it was founded, the Vatican website has served as a source of documentation and so it will remain, working in harmony with the new portal".

  The president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications expressed particular thanks to Thaddeus Jones for having co-ordinated the activities "which brought this long and not always easy process to a successful conclusion".

  Finally he also thanked Gustavo Entrala of the 101 advertising agency, who oversaw the technical and graphic aspects of the initiative.
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