Improving Communication of Pope's Early Morning Homilies

Vatican appears to be planning on releasing full transcripts

Go to the outskirts of faith, be open to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to work.

This was the key theme of Pope Francis’ early morning homily Thursday, in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae residence where he’s staying. Focusing on the first reading from Acts, the Holy Father stressed the importance of saying “yes” to the Holy Spirit if the Church is to grow in love and harmony.

Vatican Radio has a full summary here.

These daily homilies, praised for their improvised nature, simplicity and wisdom, have become eagerly awaited. Francis will often use them to drum home his what he sees as vital for the Church at this time (he’s discussed today’s theme of the need for radical, evangelical witness before).

But although their content has been praised, the Vatican’s communication of these homilies has been questioned by some. Sandro Magister noted last week a disparity between what Vatican Radio and L’Osservatore Romano reported regarding a recent homily. The mismatch seems to have been caused by its more controversial aspects.

He explained that the summaries offered by the two media outlets are “redacted independently of one another”  and it is “not known whether this practice - aimed both at safeguarding the Pope's freedom of speech and at defending it from the risks of improvisation - will be maintained or modified.” These semi-public homilies, he added, are “an important part of the oratory typical of Pope Francis.”

But it appears the Vatican is planning a solution. Asked whether we can expect to see complete transcripts of these early morning homilies soon, a Vatican official simply replied: “Stay tuned.”

Whether all the Pope's improvised remarks are included remains to be seen.

Representing the Holy Spirit that descended “like a dove” and hovered over Jesus when he was baptized.

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