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Pope Francis Gives First Address in English

Monday, October 21, 2013 5:07 PM Comments (17)

Pope Francis has spoken English publicly for the first time in a message released Friday to participants at a conference on the New Evangelization in the Philippines.

Unfortunately, there isn't a proper recording of the video message online, but the one above shows it in some detail.

"Do not get tired of bringing the mercy of the Father to the poor, the sick, the abandoned, the young people and families," Pope Francis says. "Let Jesus be known in the world of politics, business, arts, science, technology and social media. Let the Holy Spirit renew creation and bring forth justice and peace in the Philippines and in the great continent of Asia that is close to my heart."

Meanwhile, the Vatican’s equivalent of a deputy chief of staff, Tulsa-born Msgr. Peter B. Wells, has shared his views on Vatican communications, saying that thanks largely to new technology and the internet, official papal texts and speeches can be made available in their entirety without media spin. This frees people from relying on media coverage that may be manipulative or biased, he said.

In a rare question and answer session Friday with a group of benefactors of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums, the assessor for general affairs said that due to the Pope’s @pontifex Twitter feed and the news.va aggregator site, people can “make their own conclusions, because his words are often very different than the way they are presented by certain media outlets.”

He said every time a new Pope is elected, "certain media outlets decide what type of stamp they'll put on" the Pope. "It's very difficult to change that narrative," he said, but added that even though the different Vatican communications outlets and their presence on social media "are small on resources, they're big on impact."

Msgr. Wells also discussed curial reform, including financial reform, and his duties as assessor for general affairs.

Vatican media adviser Greg Burke also spoke at the same event and laid out "10 things to know" to better understand the Argentine Pontiff.

The benefactors were in Rome for most of last week to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums, a body that supports the preservation and perpetuation of the vast and unique collection of art contained in the Vatican Museums.

Filed under communications, media, msgr. peter wells, patrons of the arts in the vatican museums, pope francis, vatican, vatican museums

About Edward Pentin

Edward Pentin
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Edward Pentin began reporting on the Pope and the Vatican with Vatican Radio before moving on to become the Rome correspondent for the National Catholic Register. He has also reported on the Holy See and the Catholic Church for a number of other publications including Newsweek, Newsmax, Zenit, The Catholic Herald, and The Holy Land Review, a Franciscan publication specializing in the Church and the Middle East. Follow on Twitter @edwardpentin