Showing posts with label Communications. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Communications. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Lombardi's Gradual Retirement -- Vatican Speaker Gives Up General Management of Radio Vatican

Lombardi's Long Departure
(Rome) He gives  press conferences daily and is especially prominent for those on pastoral visits  beside the Pope, which is why his face and his voice is familiar to all accredited to the Vatican journalists. Soon, you will however have to get used to a new face at the Pope's side. Father Federico Lombardi SJ, since 2006, the director of the Vatican press office, and thus  Vatican spokesman, will soon be relieved of his office. In August 2017, the Jesuit will complete his 75th year. His withdrawal from the offices has already begun.

Piedmontese and Jesuit like Pope Francis

Father Lombardi comes from a Piedmontese family just like Pope Francis. Like him, he also belongs to the Jesuit order. Born in 1942 in Piedmont and raised in Turin, he entered the order of St. Ignatius of Loyola in 1960.  Already, his uncle, Father Riccardo Lombardi, was  a tireless folk missionary who was once called the "microphone of God". His grandfather Luigi Lombardi (1867-1958) was an internationally renowned Professor of Electrical Engineering and Chairman of the International Electrotechnical Commission IEC, member of numerous domestic and foreign scientific institutions, including the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. With his retirement, he was appointed as a senator for life as a member of the Italian Parliament. It's a dignity that was, however, denied him after the war, as all senators appointed during the Fascist period were  annulled by a special court.
Federico Lombardi studied mathematics and theology for several years away at the Jesuit High School in Frankfurt, and was ordained a priest in 1972. Until 1977, he was a member of the editorial staff of the Roman Jesuit journal, La Civilta Cattolica, most recently he has been its deputy editor. After a term as Provincial of the Italian Jesuit Province in 1990,  he was program director of Vatican Radio , 2001 Director General of the Vatican Television Center CTV, 2005 also Director General of Vatican Radio and 2006, finally, Head of the Press Office of the Holy See. With the exception of  Osservatore Romano and the Vatican publishing house, Lombardi had the entire public relations of the Holy See focused in his hands. In 2008 he was also chosen as one of the four General Assistants of the Superior General of the Jesuits.

Gradual Retirement

A few days before the resignation of Benedict XVI. he gave up the office of the CTV to the Milanese priest and communication scientist, Dario Edoardo Viganò, whom Pope Francis appointed in June 2015 as the first prefect of the newly established Communications Secretariat of the Holy See.
Since last February 1st, Lombardi was replaced by the American Greg Burke (Opus Dei) as the new deputy Vatican spokesman. Burke replaced the Passionist, Father Ciro Benedettini of San Marino  as vice-director of the Press Office. Thus the voices grew predicting the dismissal of Father Lombardi. Just whether Opus Dei's Greg Burke should be Vatican spokesman  is conjectured, but is not yet clear.
Yesterday, the daily Bulletin of the Press Office announced a change at the top of Vatican Radio.  Executive Director, Alberto Gasbarri retires end of the month. The simultaneous resignation of Father Lombardi was also announced in the Bulletin. Literally, it said: "On the occasion of the forthcoming end of service of the Director General, P. Federivo Lombardi SJ at Vatican Radio."
Dicastry Director Viganò appointed Giacomo Ghisani ad interim, as the new administrative director of the Vatican radio station. A successor for Lombardi has not been named. The entire communication area of the Holy See is currently concentrated and rearranged under the umbrella of the new Communications Secretariat.
Lombardi will initially remain at the head of the Press Office of the Holy See, and thus also,  the Vatican spokesman. The signs are, however, of change.
"He did not gave me the impression of being an exceptional spokesman for the Holy See, however, he was  - which must be recognized - also not given an easy task in a time of many clarifications, corrections, denials and necessary interpretations, into  which he was forced. Thus, even the best lose credibility. He is 73 years old and therefore could have been in office for some time. Perhaps he can ask himself about his birth,"  said the Spanish columnist and noted Catholic blogger, Francisco Fernandez de la Cigoña.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Picture: Youtube (Screenshot)
Trans: Tancred

Monday, December 21, 2015

Opus Dei Greg Burke Will be New Deputy Vatican Speaker

Greg Burke Will be the New Deputy of Vatican Speaker Father

(Rome) In recent days there have been rumors that Father Federico Lombardi SJ would be replaced as the Vatican spokesman and might be replaced by a layman, was  already the case  under Pope John Paul II.  in Rome. At that time, the Spaniard, Joaquin Navarro-Valls was the Vatican spokesman.

The rumor has not been confirmed, but a change of the Vice Vatican Spokesman has been announced.  So far, the Passionist Father Ciro Benedettini from the tiny country of San Marino is Lombardi's deputy as the Vatican spokesman. Father Benedettini was introduced in 1994 by Navarro-Valls in the press-service, and appointed in 1995 as deputy director. After 20 years there is now a change. Until January 31, 2016 Father Benedettini  will hold this office. From February 1, the American Greg Burke will be  Lombardi's new deputy.

Greg Burke began in the 1980s as Rome correspondent of the weekly National Catholic Register, from 1994 he was in the same function for  Time Magazine and from 2001 for Fox News. In 2012, he was appointed under Benedict XVI.  as Communication Advisor to the Vatican Secretariat of State. The appointment was seen in the context of ongoing criticism about inadequate public relations of the Holy See and a bad media image of the German pope.   Critics then held   the then Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone responsible for this.

Will Greg Burke Really be Vatican Spokesman?

Then came the unexpected resignation of Benedict XVI. and with Pope Francis everything seemed quite different. It was said that Burke was held in disgrace  because of his appointment by Benedict XVI. membership of the Opus Dei by the new Church leadership. Indeed,the American had become silent, even before he could put the expectations placed in him to the test. Senior Communications Adviser Burke got his own office at the Secretary of State but his exact field of responsibility was not defined.
With his appointment as deputy Vatican spokesman, these voices have been proven wrong, while those  who predicted that the Jesuit Lombardi would be replaced by Burke in 2012  have received new confirmation.  Father Lombardi has been Vatican spokesman since 2006.  In August 2017, he will be 75 years of age.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Famiglia Cristiana (Screenshot)
Trans: Tancred
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