The official title of Andrea Tornielli is that of editorial director of the Vatican Department of Communication, a position he has held since 2018, after having coordinated the website for the previous seven years. Vatican insiderFrom the newspaper The stamp. It goes without saying that Tornielli, born in 1964, is a journalist and a Vatican supporter. Now, from his position, he coordinates means such as L’Osservatore Romano, Vatican Radio and VaticanNews. He is responsible for the journalistic communication with which the Vatican fights to gain a foothold in the showcase of today.. Last Wednesday he visited Spain to close the exhibition in the cathedral of Salamanca The mystery man, which has allowed us to see a hyper-realistic recreation of the body of Christ from the Holy Shroud for five months. Tornielli, who is an expert on the Shroud, gave a closing conference for an exhibition that has been seen by 70,000 people and will tour other cities. His next destination will be the cathedral of Guadix (Granada) on May 31.
But, in addition, he took the opportunity to present his latest book The Life of Jesus (Messenger), a work that combines biblical texts with a recreation of the evangelical scenes made by the journalist and completed all this with the comments that the Pope made during the time of pandemic. Tornielli regretted that now the Christian faith is no longer transmitted in the family, as was the case before. “Faith has not been transmitted in families for years. Today, we live in a totally multidigitized society. We receive millions of information on our mobile phones and computers every day, we comment on social networks, hate language is used , but in this society there is no one to listen to you, no one to tell you: ‘I am here for you, not to judge you.’ Nor to tell you that there is a merciful God who loves you and loves you. It is important to bring more people to the life of Jesus and the Gospel”, he highlighted. The importance of testimony was also central in the conversation he had with voicepopuli
Question: What can be done from the Vatican to contribute to the cultural debate of our time and to the revival of faith?
Answer: We act in a double direction. On the one hand, presenting very well the words, the deeds, the gestures, the trips and everything that the Pope does. Very good means placing it in context, without looking for a flashy headline or a spooky approach. On the other hand, we search for and present stories that come from particular churches, from people, from the world. Because today is the time of witnesses. In this cultural moment we need stories that give us testimony of what the Gospel is lived today. Without making speeches, analyzes and philosophies, but making testimonials known. Which is the only way to speak to today’s man.
Q: We are immersed in a profound anthropological debate about what man is and where he is going. Are they trying to intervene in any way in this?
A: Of course yes. We have a diary The Roman Observatory, where interviews will appear every day, and articles that delve into all these issues from the point of view of culture. This is also done in VaticanNews, where it is seen that we are in the cultural and scientific debate. We are open to the world to understand it and to be witnesses of the Gospel in this world and at this time.
Finance tries to give orders to politics and has put money at the center instead of man
Q: Fabrice Hadjadj suggests that perhaps the main conflict of our time would be the one between humanism and technocracy, the tendency to deify the technological.
A: This is one of the problems, but I don’t think it’s the only one. We are under technocracy, but also under the economy and bonds, which seek to give orders to politics and have put money at the center, and not man. This is very clear in the message of Pope Francis and we try to remember it.
We live in a world in which we have lost the memory that we are a people and that we are together, in community. We live in a world where individualism grows and in a world where money has been set as God, and technocracy, a misinterpretation of science as a new idol. This is the time in which we live. But this war is not won by making cultural battles. This war is won by bearing witness, through deed and word, to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in all places and in all ways. You win by witnessing. This is the testimony that the Pope gives.
Q: Allow me to insist on the cultural debate because we are witnessing a moment of exacerbation of individualism and the personal ego, of deification of the individual.
A: This is well explained by the Pope in the apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. The Pope spoke about this already in 2013. We certainly live in this time. And the answer is that we have to look for new ways, new routes, to announce Christianity. This is not the time of culture wars. And whoever places himself there, places himself in the past. The time of Christianity has already passed, it has ended; that battle is already lost. The Pope explains this very well: secularization is the proof of this process. It is the time to bear witness, to see how to announce the Gospel of Jesus Christ at this time, to these young people who may be individualists, may idolize money, may have everything within their reach and are not used to sacrifice as in the past, but it is they who must be tried to reach.
The question is, and it explains it very well Evangelii Gaudium, which is the reference document for understanding the Church’s position in the cultural moment in which we are living, that new paths must be sought. We cannot respond with old ways, old instruments and old structures to problems that are new, and to a change of era that is totally new. We have to go back to the origin of our faith.
Q: What are the testimonies that have shown the greatest capacity to open gaps in this vision of our present?
A: The Pope is a good example, like many Christians who live in the world and are witnesses, in schools, in the scientific world, in the cultural world and in the geographical and existential peripheries of our world. It is a task that is not for a few, for some saints, or for some specially prepared, it is a task that is for all Christians.
Pope Pius XI already spoke in 1931 of the international imperialism of money; the poor are the tradition of the Church
Q: What would be the nature of that testimony? Can it be confused with social activism?
A: Christian witness is not to be confused with social activism: the poor are the Gospel, the social function of the Church is the doctrine of the Church. Pope Pius XI already spoke in 1931 of the international imperialism of money. Charity and the poor are the Gospel, they are the tradition of the Church. Communism ended forty years ago. We cannot think of announcing the Gospel with the same cultural positions, and with the same perspectives, as fifty years ago. It is a losing battle.
Q: What does it mean to return to the origin?
When I speak of going back to the origin to be a witness to the Gospel, it is clear that this does not mean social activism, but, starting with Jesus Christ, being present in society and trying to change it. This has not only been said by Pope Francis. See the encyclical Requested king socialis, by John Paul II, from 1987, where he talks about financial, economic and political structures of sin. Being against this and trying to change reality does not mean being a social activist. It means being a Christian, knowing that faith is something that affects the entire life of the person and the life of society.