The following is a translation of the greeting that Prof. Giovanni Maria Vian addressed spontaneously to Benedict XVI .
Just a few words to thank you for this visit that you have wished to make, Your Holiness, for the 150th anniversary of our newspaper; Your Holiness' newspaper, the Holy See's newspaper. It is an important event and on behalf of the whole paper I thank you for your letter, which you were pleased to write to us, as we also thanked the Secretary of State of Your Holiness for the Mass he celebrated for us, on the very day of the anniversary, 1 July, in one of the holiest and most beautiful places in Rome, the Pauline Chapel.
We are grateful above all for this visit in such a family atmosphere: Your Holiness wished to meet each one of us. This was a gesture that deeply moved us, an action for which we are profoundly grateful. We perceive you, Your Holiness, not only as our Editor but also as the newspaper’s most important contributor, together of course with the Secretary of State and with the Secreteriat of State, represented here by Mons. Peter Bryan Wells, by Mons. Polvani and by Sr Maria Patrizia Bellavia of the Information Office. They are our immediate superiors.
We are truly touched by this gesture, 20 years after the last visit of your Predecessor, which signifies a closeness of which we are acutely sensible.
We are few, Cardinal Bertone reminded us at the Mass, even though we number about 100 from 15 countries. You have seen how many we are. Only Asia is missing. Here, however, since 2008, we have been publishing the edition in Malayalam, a version of the English language edition, and it is the first time that the paper has been printed entirely in non-Roman type.
But you know all these things, Your Holiness, by having read them and heard about them. I only wanted to reflect on the circumstance of the coincidence in time between this most important anniversary for the Holy See's newspaper and the 60th anniversary of your own priestly ordination,
There is a precedent. In January 1930 Pius xi made his first visit to the newspaper. It had just moved its premises to the Vatican, and Pope Ratti's priestly jubilee had just been celebrated on that circumstance, the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. There is this precedent, but above all there is one detail that gave me food for thought while Your Holiness was celebrating in St Peter’s: a coincidence that struck me deeply. One of the two mottos in our masthead is Unicuique suum, which as you know, Your Holiness, is a principle of ancient philosophy, that of justice, taken from Roman law. The other, Non praevalebunt, is Jesus’ words found in Matthew’s Gospel, the very words that contain the Tu es Petrus. Therefore this truly infers a profound, a profoundly interwoven unity: Tu es Petrus, non praevalebunt. We are all naturally in the same small boat, navicular Petri , the Barque of Peter. Thank you, Your Holiness.
St. Peter’s Square
Sept. 18, 2019
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