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Tuesday, July 5, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 5 JUL 2011 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father visited the headquarters of the "Osservatore Romano" newspaper, which is currently celebrating the 150th anniversary of its foundation. Its first edition appeared on 1 July 1861.

  The Pope greeted the director, vice director and journalists, congratulating them on the current anniversary. "By your daily work, out of sight and not without fatigue", he told them, "you create this unique form of communication which acts at the service of the ministry of Peter's Successor, making a specific contribution to the spread of the Gospel and the witness of truth. Indeed, by propagating the Pope's teaching, by providing information on his activities and those of the Roman Curia, and echoing Catholic life in the world, the 'Osservatore Romano' helps the faithful to consider contemporary issues in the light of the Word of Christ and the Magisterium of the Church, while remaining attentive to the signs of the times. In this perspective, the Holy See's newspaper is a vital resource, which needs to be increasingly understood and appreciated".

  "Dear friends, continue to work joyfully in the great of 'Areopagus' of modern communications, treasuring the long history of this eminent newspaper. The memory of the past is fruitful only if it becomes an occasion to draw nourishment from deep roots, and to look to the future with hope".

  The Holy Father concluded by encouraging those who work on the newspaper "not to forget that, although you certainly need appropriate technical and professional training in order to carry out the mission with which you have been entrusted, what is vital above all is that you incessantly cultivate a spirit of prayer, service and faithful adherence to the teachings of Christ and His Church".
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VATICAN CITY, 5 JUL 2011 (VIS) - At midday today in the Holy See Press Office, a press conference was held to present an exhibition entitled "'Lux in Arcana' - the Vatican Secret Archives unveiled". The exhibition will be inaugurated in Rome's Capitoline Museums in February 2012.

  Participating in today's conference were Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B.; Cardinal Raffaele Farina S.D.B., archivist and librarian of Holy Roman Church; Bishop Sergio Pagano B., prefect of the Vatican Secret Archives; Giovanni Alemanno, mayor of Rome; Dino Gasperini, Rome's local councillor for culture and the historical centre, and Umberto Broccoli, superintendent for the city's cultural heritage.

  Cardinal Bertone pointed out that "the inherent richness of this exhibition is amplified by the fact that it is being organised outside the Vatican, on the Capitol Hill which symbolically represents the 'heart' of Rome and its relationship with the papal city down the centuries. The challenge was to make the resources of the Vatican Secret Archives, with all their academic knowledge and experience, converge with those of the capital city, the Capitoline Museums and the office of the superintendent for archives and museums of the local authorities of Rome".

  For his part, Cardinal Farina explained that "ancient pontifical documents of great importance, as well as letters concerning significant aspects of the life of the Church in the world, will be leaving the Vatican for the first time and will be available to be viewed by visitors to the Capitol Hill, traditional headquarters of the government of Rome".

  Bishop Pagano noted that the exhibition "aims to throw light on the reality of this venerable institution (the Vatican Archives), on its nature, its contents and its activities. Hence the choice of theme as 'Lux in Arcana'".

  "Among the millions of documents held in the Vatican Secret Archives we have chosen around one hundred which illustrate the complexity of the overall holdings", said the bishop. These include "the 'Dictatus papae' of Gregory VII (1073-1085); Clement VII's letter to the English parliament on the matrimonial cause of Henry VIII (1530), and the codex of the trial of Galileo Galilei (1616-1633)".

  The exhibition, he explained, "thus offers the wider public its first chance to enter the reality of the Vatican Secret Archives. ... Modern technology will enable visitors to enter the Pope's archive and to understand the role it has played over the centuries at the service of the Holy See and the world of culture, preserving and handing down an enviable patrimony of knowledge".

  Finally the mayor of Rome highlighted how "the city of Rome, capital of Italy and see of the Roman Pontiff, is proud to host this event which, in some way, underlines the bond between the secular city and the religious city. ... It is a courageous gesture on the part of the Holy See to organise an exhibition at this level, at the same time agreeing to let these precious documents leave the Vatican. 'Lux Arcana' is an opportunity to recount to Romans and pilgrims the extraordinary adventure of man".
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