Two big stories in the Vatican today: one involves the new editorial board of the Vatican newspaper’s monthly magazine “Donna Chiesa Mondo” (Women Church World), and the other involves the move of the newspaper itself, L’Osservatore Romano, outside of Vatican City State, after 90 years inside the mini state.

The first issue of L’Osservatore Romano* was published on July 1, 1861 in Rome, only months after the Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed in March 17 of that year. It is has 9 language editions (Italian is daily and weekly, 6 other languages are weekly and Polish is monthly. (

There will be lots of moving vans in coming months around Vatican City and Palazzo Pio XI, the building that has housed Vatican Radio for decades and will welcome the staff of the Vatican paper. The move, one of a number of moves of Vatican communications offices and staff in coming months, is expected to take about a year.

Palazzo Pio is named for Pope Pius XI who inaugurated Vatican Radio on February 12, 1931.

The prefect of communication Paolo Ruffini and interim Holy See Press Office director, Alessandro Gisotti told journalists this is all “part of the reform” of Vatican communications. “We are trying to optimize the spaces (we have) and this is a project that will take several months, from now until the summer of 2020.”

Basically the staff members of the Vatican’s newspaper, radio, television and web offices will all be housed in Palazzo Pio XI. Only technical staff, such as those who work for Vatican television, will work inside Vatican City.

Lots more on this topic – especially reaction to the announced move – so stay tuned!

* I have a copy of the newspaper that announced the election of Pope John Paul I (not called John Paul I until John Paul II was elected), Papa Luciani, that might have a certain value. There was a misprint in Latin on the front page (a misprint noted by the then editor’s 15-year old son who had just begin to study Latin) and they had to stop the presses and re-do that page. I have one of the rare editions of the paper with the misprint!


L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, announced today that the monthly magazine, “Donna Chiesa Mondo” (Women Church World) will be regularly published in the month of May. The announcement also revealed the membership of the new editorial board of the magazine, including the name of the new coordinator, Rita Pinci who, in turn, released a statement.

On March 26 there was the stunning news of the mass resignation of the editorial board and Lucetta Scaraffia, the founder of the Vatican’s monthly magazine on and for women – “Donna Chiesa Mondo” – that is published by the Vatican paper “L’Osservatore Romano.

On April 1, the board published an editorial in which members complained of feeling “surrounded by a climate of distrust and progressive de-legitimization.” They said the Vatican was “returning to the practice of selecting women [writers] who ensure obedience,” to a “clerical self-reference.””

In her statement, Rita Pinci said she was “pleased about this appointment. It is something I was not expecting and at first I was surprised by the proposal of L’Osservatore Romano’s editor-in-chief, Andrea Monda … because he thought of me, and for the complete freedom that he has assured to me and the Editorial Board. I have followed “Donne Chiesa Mondo” since it began, and I think the Church needs the gaze and voice of women who represent more than half of the faithful.”

Pinci added, “I am not a theologian, a Church historian, an expert on Vatican issues. I am a journalist. I am a believer. I was asked to make my expertise available to a community and a newspaper that I have always read with interest, and I believe that it is a great human – before professional – opportunity for me, to be able to take part in this project.

“My contribution will be mainly that of coordinating the Editorial Board in its work which will be carried out in a collegial manner and in the spirit of sharing the diverse talents and skills of the women who will participate in it and with whom I am proud to share this stretch of the road in a pursuit that for me began even before the professional one, in the first years of university, when I began to share certain fundamental themes of the women’s movement.”