Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Saturday, February 13, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Novena of Grace 2016

Home : News : Pope Francis/Vatican
Pope's chief of staff gives behind-the-scenes talk on media, reform
Msgr. Peter B. Wells

Msgr. Peter B. Wells

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican's online access to official papal texts and speeches free people from relying on media coverage that may be manipulative or biased, said a top official in the Vatican Secretariat of State.

People can go directly to the @Pontifex Twitter feed and the news.va aggregator site to see exactly what the pope has said so "you can make your own conclusions, because his words are often very different than the way they are presented by certain media outlets," U.S. Msgr. Peter Wells, assessor for general affairs, said Oct. 18.

The monsignor's remarks came in a rare Q-and-A encounter when he spoke in a frescoed hall of the apostolic palace in front of an audience of more than 300 benefactors of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums.
The benefactors, most from North America and Great Britain, were in Rome for a weeklong celebration of the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Patrons, whose network of local chapters raises money to preserve and restore the museums' priceless collections.

Msgr. Wells gave brief introductory remarks explaining his and his office's duties, then took questions from seven people in the audience. The questions covered topics such as the curial reform process and managing the pope's message.

Msgr. Wells is part of a new five-person pontifical commission that is reviewing the activities and mission of the Vatican bank and is president of a new Financial Security Committee, whose members share responsibility for preventing and countering money laundering and terrorism financing.

But in speaking about his work as assessor of general affairs, the Tulsa, Okla., native said his department is "like a chief of staff office for the pope," dealing with things like security issues and communications.

The department's job is to help Pope Francis and his representatives "have the ability to act freely in the world" and not be "impeded in their ministry," especially in reaching out to the most marginalized, he said.

In response to a question about how the department handles inaccuracies and biases in the media's reporting on the pope, the monsignor said this problem "is one of the reasons why our task with communications is so complex."

He said every time a new pope is elected, "certain media outlets decide what type of stamp they'll put on" the pope. "It's very difficult to change that narrative," he said.

However, even though the different Vatican communications outlets and their presence on social media "are small on resources, they're big on impact."

The Vatican's expanded online presence, he said, has given the public direct access to what the pope has said. "People no longer have to go through filters to receive what the pope says."

While the media have been important and helpful in spreading information about the church, it's also true people, including media outlets, may put "a spin" on it, he said.

In response to other questions, Msgr. Wells confirmed the need to immediately address and remedy problems in the curia and promote efforts of reform.

But he also said "there's a large amount of misunderstanding" about what the Vatican is and does.

In his 20 years in Rome, 12 of them working at the Vatican, he said "some of the holiest and most wonderful people I've ever met are working at this institution — people who are extremely dedicated" to serving Jesus, the church and the Holy Father.

Just as Pope Benedict XVI's very humble nature made an impact on people working in the Vatican, Pope Francis is leaving his mark, too, with what the monsignor calls "a cultural change, a spiritual change."

"Since Francis has come, we are much more introspective" in that people are more readily looking at how they act and interact with others and asking: "how is this serving or is this serving" the church, he said.

He said he thinks of his work and the work of the other nearly 5,000 Vatican employees as "a ministry; we are ministers" and Pope Francis is doing a lot to help promote that outlook.

One audience member said she has been amazed how Pope Francis has really touched some people she knows who had distanced themselves from the church.

She wanted the monsignor to know that "it's working, that people are hearing the pope's message" and are re-engaging with the church, she said to applause.

Msgr. Wells said, "One of the best things to happen to Vatican communications in years is Pope Francis." Things changed "overnight" with his open manner and the way he interacts with people.

What people notice the most, he said, is the pope's authenticity; "he walks the talk, he does what he says."

He's also inspiring people at the Vatican and in the entire church to strive for authenticity, "to truly be Christians" and "to do what God wants us to do," he said.

Advanced Search

Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved