“Journalism,” Pope Francis said, “does not come so much by choosing a profession, as by launching oneself on a mission.”
The Holy Father spoke these words as he honored two veteran journalists who report on the Vatican and the Holy See: Valentina Alazraki of Mexico and Philip Pullella, an Italian-born American who works for Reuters news agency.
Pope Francis conferred on them the title “Dame” and “Knight” respectively, of the Grand Cross of the Order of Pope Pius. The awards ceremony took place in the Vatican in the presence of journalists and reporters accredited to the Holy See Press Office.
Journalists have a job to explain the world, make it less obscure, make people less afraid and look at others with greater confidence.
Pope Francis encouraged journalists to keep in mind what he considers the three marks of good journalism: listening, going deep, and storytelling.
Reporting the truth
Pope Francis also thanked the journalist for reporting about “what is wrong in the Church, for helping us not to sweep it under the carpet and for the voice you have given to the victims of abuse.”
Lastly, the Holy Father reminded the journalists that the Church is not a political organization, a parliament, or a large multinational company based on marketing strategies. And while the Church tends to fall into this worldly temptation, it was born and exists to reflect the light of Jesus, making herself a vehicle for His embrace of mercy offered to all.