VISIT OF THE HOLY FATHER TO THE WORK-COMMUNITY OF THE DICASTERY FOR COMMUNICATION
ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
Monday, 24 May 2021
During the live radio broadcast, in response to questions he was asked, the Pope said the following:
Thank you for your work, for what you do. I have only one concern — there are many reasons to worry about the Radio, for L’Osservatore — but one which is very dear to my heart: how many listen to the Radio, and how many read L’Osservatore Romano? Because our work is to reach people: so that the work done here, which is beautiful, is great, is tiring, reaches people, be it through translations, or even via short wave, as you said…. The question you should ask yourselves is: “How many? How many does it reach?”, because there is a danger — for all organizations — the danger of a fine organization, fine work, but which does not reach where it is supposed to reach…. A little like the story of the birth of the mouse: the mountain that gives birth to the mouse…. Every day ask yourselves this question: how many people do we reach? How many receive Jesus’ message through L’Osservatore Romano? This is very important, very important!
As you urge us to do, we also try a little bit to integrate and become more communicative, not to give voice to whoever shouts the loudest. This is something you always stress. We will be asking ourselves this question, we are asking it, we are already asking it: it is in a sense the fruit of this reform that you called for and that is somewhat visible in this visit, that is to say, trying to integrate this system and to reach as many people as possible. As a radio station - and I can agree with you on the basis of this exhortation - more than a thousand radio stations around the world record us, that is, they record our content and in turn send it back through their systems. It is a service that we try to do. Thank you, Holy Father.
If I may add, Holy Father, in comfort of what you are telling us: Radio today is a living instrument, an instrument that, despite the new technologies, remains always an instrument that reaches the people and is in perfect health. And this can be a help, a contribution to achieve what you are saying.
Yes, that's true, that's true.
Thank you, thank you very much.
Lastly, during the meeting in the Marconi Hall, the Pope bid farewell with these words:
Thank you very much for your work. I am pleased. I have seen you all together, here. I have seen this building well arranged, and it pleases me. The unity of work…. The issue is that a system this large and complicated needs to function. I am reminded of a habit in Argentina, when someone was appointed to an important role, the first thing he would do was to go to “Nordiska”, a furniture retailer, without looking at his desk, his office, sent to make everything new, everything perfect, beautiful. It was the first decision that that minister, that official, would make. Then, it didn’t work. The important thing is that all this beauty, all this organization has to function. To function is to go, to journey…. The great enemy of functioning well is functionalism. For example, I am the head of a section; I am the secretary, the boss of that section. But I have seven undersecretaries.
Everything is always fine, fine. When someone has a problem, he goes to the undersecretary who should resolve it, who says: “Wait a moment, I’ll answer later”. He goes and calls the secretary…. That is, he is not useful: incapable of deciding, incapable of setting things right. Functionalism is lethal. It puts an institution to sleep and kills it. Be careful not to fall prey to this: it is not important how many positions there are, if that office is nice or isn’t nice. It is important that it functions, that it is functional, and is not the victim of functionalism. Be very careful, very careful of this. And when something is functional, it helps creativity. Your work must always be creative, and go further, further, further: creative. This is called functioning. But if a job is too orderly, in the end it winds up trapped and does not help. This is the one thing that, seeing such a beautiful organization, so well done, seeing all of you together, I think I should say: be careful! No functionalism. Yes, functional at the job, what you have to do. And for a structure to be functional, each person needs to have sufficient freedom to function. That they have the ability to risk and not go to ask permission, permission, permission…: this paralyzes. Functional, not functionalistic. Understood? Onward, with courage. Thank you!
L'Osservatore Romano, Weekly Edition in English, 28 May 2021
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