VATICAN CITY, OCT 24, 2006 (VIS) - This morning, Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. delivered a brief talk at the opening of the exhibition: "L'Osservatore Romano. From Rome to the world, 145 years of history through the pages of the Pope's newspaper."
Participating in the event were Enrico Gasbarra, president of the Province of Rome, accompanied by members of the provincial council, as well as various civil and religious authorities.
Cardinal Bertone recalled how the newspaper, "created to defend the Catholic religion and the Roman Pontiff, ... later became the unofficial organ of the Apostolic See." This made it an ideal instrument for "spreading the teaching of Peter's Successor and information concerning Church affairs."
"We cannot fail to highlight," he added, "that it is thanks to certain lay faithful,... that the first steps were made. ... Over these 145 years ... the succession of historical events has shown that, in order to spread the evangelical message, the Church ... needs the work, inventiveness and charism of the laity."
The cardinal then went on to observe how the exhibition "familiarizes us with the pastoral work of 11 Popes: Blessed Pius IX who gave his consent to the foundation of the Osservatore Romano; ... the profound social changes ... of the pontificate of Leo XIII; ... St. Pius X, the Pope of the great reforms within the Church; Benedict XV ... who on the pages of the newspaper published his heartfelt 'Appeal to the Leaders of the Warring Nations;' ... Pius XI who condemned political totalitarianism of all kinds, as did his successor, Pius XII; ... the springtime of the Church under Blessed John XXIII; ... the wise and providential activities of Paul VI; ... the brief pontificate of John Paul I; and ... the renewed dialogue of the Holy See with the world that characterized the pontificate of John Paul II," up to "our own times in which the Church progresses under the prudent guidance of Benedict XVI."
The cardinal concluded his talk by expressing the hope that, "through the glorious memory of the past," this initiative "may relaunch, with a prophetic spirit, an effective and convincing means of communication of the Church."
SS/OSSERVATORE ROMANO/BERTONE VIS 20061024 (380)