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The UK's Guardian takes a look at the recent changes in the Osservatore Romano:

Quote:..."This is a very special newspaper, which has enormous responsibilities because it is the newspaper of the pope," he says. "But at the same time it has to try to be normal."

That is the big change. Until two years ago, L'Osservatore was anything but normal. Its relationship to the Vatican was like that of Pravda to the Soviet-era Kremlin. There were two sorts of articles: those in which a Vatican department had directly intervened (signalled to the knowledgeable by three discreet asterisks), and those that had been written by L'Osservatore's staff, but with such care not to embarrass or offend that, with rare exceptions, they were stiflingly boring.

"When I took over the paper", says Vian, "the pope wrote me a letter in which he said that L'Osservatore had to be present in the cultural debate." Now that may not sound to you or me like an explicit remit to jazz it up. But Vian, who is perfectly attuned to the subtleties of Vatican communication (his father was the chief librarian), is certain it was...
Full article here.