New director for Holy See Press Bureau

Source: FSSPX News


Benedict XVI appointed Federico Lombardi, a Jesuit, as director of the Holy See Press Bureau. Also director of the Vatican Radio and of the Television Center of the Vatican, this 64-year old Italian priest succeeds Joaquin Navarro-Valls, aged 69, a psychiatrist and a member of Opus Dei.

"Benedict XVI has accepted the demission of Joaquin Navarro-Valls from his office of director of the Holy See Press Bureau and thanked him for his long and generous service", declared the Holy See Press Bureau. Joaquin Navarro-Valls recalled on this occasion that he had "several times" expressed the desire to leave his office. "I am aware that during all these years I have received much more than I could give", he added.

Federico Lombardi was born on August 20, 1942 in Saluzzo, Italy. In 1960, he entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus and was ordained priest in 1972. He was appointed provincial superior of the Italian province of the Society of Jesus from 1984 to 1990, then director of programming of Radio Vatican in 1991. He has been in charge of the direction of the Television Center of the Vatican since 2001, and of Radio Vatican since the end of 2005. Retaining these two offices, he now succeeds the spokesman appointed by John-Paul II on December 4, 1984.

At the beginning, the Information Bureau of the Osservatore Romano was founded on February 20, 1939. Its purpose was to pass on information to designated journalists. The Vatican Press Bureau, created in 1966 to be the communications body of Vatican Council II, absorbed the previous Information Bureau. And it officially became the Press Bureau of the Holy See, under the direction of the Pontifical Commission for Social Communications.

Since May 28, 1986, the Press Bureau of the Holy See "has been responsible for the diffusion of information concerning the acts of the sovereign pontiff and the Holy See activities". This is why, "it enjoys operational autonomy in the discharge of its duty, just like Osservatore Romano, Radio Vatican and the Vatican Television Center."

On June 28, 1988, the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus of John Paul II decided that the Press Bureau would be "a special bureau" depending upon the first section of the Secretary of State, responsible for the publication and diffusion of " official communications connected with the acts of the sovereign pontiff, or the Holy See’s activities".