Pope thanks Vatican newspaper for 140 years of service
Pope John Paul II marked the 140th anniversary of the Vatican's daily newspaper by praising its service to the Catholic Church and the good of humanity.
Throughout its history, the Holy Father said, L'Osservatore Romano has combined "solid fidelity to the successor of Peter" with attention to the life of the church and "a courageous service to man".
On Sunday he wrote to Mario Agnes, the newspaper's editor since 1984, saying he reads the paper every day.
Established by Pope Pius IX in 1861, at a time of political ferment in Italy, L'Osservatore Romano was first edited outside the Vatican, and connected with the papacy only in its editorial sympathies. In 1885 Pope Leo XIII acquired the paper, making it "the voice of the Pope."
In a congratulatory message printed in the July 1 issue, Pope John Paul II writes of the paper's "long path of service to the cause of the Gospel and of the Holy See."
A special commemorative issue published on Sunday, printed in colour on oversized stock, provides a 30-page history of L'Osservatore Romano, illustrating some of the high points of the paper's history with reproductions of the front pages from the dates in question.