Another big appointment

Another big appointment

Usually the appointment of a new spokesman isn’t a huge deal, except at the Vatican where the spokesman speaks for the Pope. So today, Pope Benedict has appointed Fr. Federico Lombardi, an Italian Jesuit and current head of Vatican TV and Vatican Radio, to succeed Joaquin Navarro-Valls as his spokesman. Navarro-Valls is a Spanish doctor and member of Opus Dei who served as spokesman for 22 years.

Navarro-Valls has long made it known that he was ready to retire, even before Pope John Paul died, but he stayed on and on, serving as the Pope asked him, but he’s 70 years old now and will move into retirement,

Lombardi will remain head of TV and Radio and take on the job as head of the Press Office, which is an interesting partial confirmation that there will be a shakeup of the Holy See’s communications apparatus. Under Lombardi, TV and Radio have embraced new media and new technology—Radio is even doing podcasts of its programming now—so perhaps we can continue to expect innovation from him in new areas.

Technorati Tags:, ,

bk_keywords:Vatican Radio, Vatican Television.

  • Domenico is right on target concerning the ‘popular mythology’ about the Jesuit Order in general and even Jesuits in the USA. I know many many good Jesuits (I am not one) who are faithful Catholic priests, faithful to the teaching of the Catholic Church and faithful to the Holy Father.

  • Vatican Radio has always been a Jesuit apostolate, and I suppose the same is true of the Vatican TV Center.  That’s been a mixed blessing. 

    In the ‘80s, VR’s English program would occasionally have bits of odd spirituality material: e.g., from de Mello’s first book.  But that’s history.  VR’s been more or less OK for the past few years.

  • Carrie: It took a couple of hours to reduce the World Trade Center to rubble. It’s been five years and they’re just beginning to rebuild.

    It takes time for such things to happen especially when there are those who actively pushing in the other direction, including many in positions of leadership.

  • I know many many good Jesuits (I am not one) who are faithful Catholic priests, faithful to the teaching of the Catholic Church and faithful to the Holy Father.

    I think Father Benedict went overboard with the “many”s.  grin

    If I were making a list of good, sound Jesuits, it would not include these cases:

    One former pastor at the BC parish believed Methodist Eucharists may be valid (and wrote his thesis on the subject);

    At the local Jesuit institutions, Fr. Haight and Fr. Sullivan have both had their works criticized by CDF;

    The Jesuit Urban Center has been the subject of diocesan intervention over liturgical abuse; it is also noted for pro-homosexual activism.

    In a matter which is not doctrinal but prudential: the last run-in I had with a Jesuit goofball was at a Sunday Mass where I sang in the choir: a priest from the SJ retreat house was assisting at that parish, and in his homily he accused the US military of “carpet-bombing” civilians in “every square inch” of Iraq, based on some wingbat assertion he read on the Internet.

    While everyone’s experience is limited in some sense, my personal encounters have brought me into contact with more unsound Jesuits than sound ones.