Order. Discipline. Brotherhood. Greatness.

The Vatican’s Unread Newspaper and the U.S. Bishops

When I began working with some regularity in Rome thirty years ago, my elders and betters taught me that no one paid much attention to the Vatican newspaper,
L’Osservatore Romano
. The exception to that rule was the daily section with the charming title
Nostre Informazioni
(“Our Information”), in which papal audiences, episcopal appointments, and other tidbits of interest to those obsessed with Who’s Up and Who’s Down are recorded. (The most famous of these nuggets was the brief line, “The Rev. Louis Billot, SJ, was received in audience today by His Holiness.” Billot had entered a 1927 meeting with Pope Pius XI a cardinal and emerged a lowly Jesuit priest, the pontiff having blown his stack over Billot’s tacit criticism of Pius’s smackdown of the extreme right-wing French movement,
Action Française
L’Osservatore Romano
has improved its appearance over the past three decades, but insofar as I can tell, no serious person inside or outside the Vatican pays it much attention. 

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