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Rome Reports

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Federico Lombardi recalls 10 years of memories as pope's spokesman

Federico Lombardi is one of the protagonists of communication in the Vatican. He carries behind him 10 years of experience as spokesman for the Holy See. It began during Benedict XVI's pontificate and continued during the first three years of Pope Francis'.

Any information officially spoken from the Holy See was sent to the world through his hands, as he was in charge of updating journalists with the latest news. It's a form of communication that, according to him, has changed a lot because of social networks.

FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI Former Holy See Spokesman

"Now with the possibility of Twitter and also the dissemination of images and messages via e-mail, you have the opportunity to get updated information in real time. FLASH 13:22 - 13:30 It is an evolution that is absolutely normal and absolutely necessary for those who live in the world of information."

Ten years go by quickly. Despite this, in a decade of work without rest, Fr. Lombardi remembers the most complicated news he had to deliver while acting as the pope's voice.

FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI Former Holy See spokesman

"I will say the resignation of Pope Benedict was the most disruptive fact. Indeed it was the newest and historically innovative fact that I had to deal with or talk about, because it hadn't happened for centuries and it was not a normal thing, let's say."

He also highlights other moments of crisis in the media, such as the rehabilitation of Lefebvrian Richard Williamson, the Vatileaks case with documents being stolen from the pope's table, and allegations of abuse of minors.

With the arrival of Pope Francis in March 2013, Fr. Federico Lombardi encountered another challenge: the spontaneity of a new pope who preferred to improvise, rather than simply read his speeches.

FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI Former Holy See spokesman

"I had to learn quickly to understand this aspect of Pope Francis: his preference for improvisation, which expresses spontaneity and also manages to establish a direct dialogue between him and the public. The most beautiful aspect of this pontificate are all the discourses on mercy, the love of God, welcoming others, forgiveness, which are easily understood by others."

As the years go by, the way of communicating varies. In spite of these changes, Federico Lombardi has succeeded in transmitting the message of St. Peter's successor to the farthest corners outside of Rome.