Letter #93, 2021, Tuesday, August 24: l’Osservatore Romano to cease print publication after 160 years?
An interesting article yesterday on the possibility — just a possibility for now, but evidently something being seriously considered — that the Vatican’s 160-year-old daily newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano (“The Roman Observer”) might cease to appear in print.
If the paper should cease to appear in print, it would put an exclamation point next to the rapid development over the past 25 years of the internet and purely electronic publications.
No longer will there be photographs of a newspaper front page with the words, in large letters: “Habemus Papam” (“We have a Pope”).
Times change, even in Rome.
Here is the story, published yesterday, August 23, in Il Sismografo:
Is the paper edition of “L’Osservatore Romano” approaching closure? (link)
(edited by Editorial Staff “Il Sismografo”) — Guido Horst, a German journalist, in an article of his on August 21, in Die Tagerpost (Germany), returns to reiterate what he had written on August 17, anticipating the news of the closure of the paper edition of the Osservatore Romano.
The rumor about it, even if it seems incredible, has actually been circulating for over two months in various ecclesiastical, political and diplomatic circles, as well as another about the closure of a shop near the Vatican of the Vatican Publishing House, also in serious crisis.
As is well known, “the party newspaper” — words which Pope Francis used on three occasions, recently at the end of an Angelus on the eve of the 160th anniversary of the Holy See newspaper (1 July), to define the L’OR — has been suffering a severe overall crisis, due to the high cost of staff and of bringing out the print edition.
For now, there is no official confirmation of these rumors. The decisions taken by the Pope could be different, or these could simply be untrue rumors.
Note: All the more reason to support the print edition of our magazine, Inside the Vatican, which still appears in print. Below are links to purchase a copy of my book on Archbishop Viganò, and to support our “Friends of Lebanon” project. Any support would be gratefully received and would be very helpful. Thank you, and best wishes to all. —Robert