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How to Cover the Catholic Church

To obtain television footage, contact the Vatican Television Center, known

by its Italian acronym as CTV. The director general is Jesuit Father Federico

Lombardi, who also heads the press office. Phone 06-6988-5467 or 5233. E-

mail (m

ain office) or (a

rchive). For photographs

of the pope and Vatican events, go to , th

e Web site of Vatican

newspaper’s photo service. Phone 06-6988-4797. E-mail .

Every day around noon, the press office releases the


, or daily bul-

letin (plural:


). If you’re in the building, you’ll hear an announcement

of its arrival over the loudspeaker, at which point all the reporters form a scrum

near the entrance to grab a copy. Depending on the day and the expected con-

tent, the scrum may be calm or frenzied, but there are always plenty of bulletins

to go around. More than one


is usually released per day. If you miss a

day, there are back copies from the previous week or so on display.



is where you’ll find out whom the pope might have met that

day (

Le Udienze

) and which bishops resigned or were appointed or transferred


Rinunce e Nomine

). On Wednesdays you’ll get the text of the pope’s general

audience (

Udienza Generale

), and on Sundays the text of the prayer after the



Preghiera dopo l’Angelus

). Papal speeches to visiting dignitaries, clergy

and various groups; official messages to the United Nations and other enti-

ties; and statements from the chief Vatican spokesperson, Jesuit Father Federico

Lombardi, can also be found here. The


is nearly always in Italian but

sometimes includes other languages. If you’re covering an event at the Vatican

for a short period of time, such as the elevation of your city’s bishop to cardinal,



may be provided in or translated into English.


are also available online, under the press office section of the

Vatican’s Web site. You’ll note the Web site offers an archive of


, going

back to 1997. You can search by date or by category: episcopal nominations,

audiences, press releases, messages, and travels. With a press pass you can

get access to the


under embargo on the site as well; ask at the press

office about getting a password.

Be advised of the hours of operation: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through

Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays and holidays.

Holidays include obvious ones like January 1, and others you may not think

of, like November 1 (Solemnity of All Saints), December 8 (Solemnity of the

Immaculate Conception), and August 15 (Solemnity of the Assumption). For

some special events and under extraordinary circumstances (a papal transi-

tion, for example), the press office will keep longer hours. Open hours of the

press office are usually reduced during summer months and around Christmas

and Easter.