Vatican City, 31 May 2013 (VIS) – The Director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., clarified a few points relative to the broadcast and publication of the daily Mass that Pope Francis celebrates in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae as well as the homilies that he gives.
“First of all,” said Fr. Lombardi, “it is necessary to keep in mind the character that the Holy Father himself attributes to the morning celebration of Mass at St. Martha’s. It is a Mass attended by a, not small, group of faithful (usually over 50 persons), but the Pope wants to maintain its familiar atmosphere. That is why, notwithstanding the requests that have been received, he has specifically requested that the live video and audio not be broadcast.”
“Regarding his homilies, they are not given from a written text but spontaneously and in Italian, a language that the Pope knows well but which isn’t his mother tongue. A ‘complete’ publication, therefore, would necessarily entail a transcription and a reworking of the text at various points, given that the written form is different from the spoken one, which in this case is the original form chosen intentionally by the Holy Father. In short, it would entail editing by the Holy Father himself, but the result would clearly be ‘something else’, which isn’t what the Holy Father intends to do [with his daily homily] each morning.”
The Director of the Holy See Press Office stated that careful consideration was given to how to make the wealth of the Pope’s homilies available without changing their nature. The Vatican’s newspaper, “L’Osservatore Romano” as well as Vatican Radio offer a summary of the Pope’s words and Vatican Television broadcasts a brief video that corresponds to the paragraphs chosen by Vatican Radio. He also noted that the difference between the Pope’s public and private activities must be recognized. In the former, Pope Francis’ complete texts are released, while in the latter it is necessary to “respect the particular character of the situation, the spontaneity and familiarity of the Holy Father’s expressions. The solution that was chosen respects, above all, the Pope’s wishes and the nature of the morning celebrations while, at the same time, allowing a wide public to have access to the main messages that the Holy Father offers the faithful in those circumstances.”