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Benedict's and Francis' former publisher: A publisher is great if his authors are great


While Pope Francis' and Pope Benedict's styles have been portrayed differently in the media, there is another dimension that reveals even more about who these two popes are as communicators: their written works

Fr. Giuseppe Costa just ended his time as Director for 10 years in the Vatican Publishing Library. He says by working for both popes, he's been able to see their different communication styles firsthand.

FR. GIUSEPPE COSTA
Former Director, Vatican Publishing Library
“I worked during Benedict XVI's entire pontificate and for the first four years of Pope Francis' pontificate. In that time, I have witnessed a change in the area of communication. This does not mean that, for example, Benedict XVI is not as good a communicator as Pope Francis. He was and still is a different communicator.”

However, one evident difference is their papal presence on social media and the ability to share ideas instantaneously. He says that Pope Francis has happily taken to Twitter, Facebook, and sending video messages, while social media was “a train that Pope Benedict seemed to have missed.”

FR. GIUSEPPE COSTA
Former Director, Vatican Publishing Library
“Pope Francis has the ability to communicate immediately with people, with pilgrims, with all those he meets with. Pope Benedict XVI was always a lot more reflective, we can say, but always gentle. It's a different approach, because Pope Francis is more immediate, while Pope Benedict preferred to wait longer before speaking and thus appeared a bit colder.”

Despite this feeling of closeness with the digital aspect, Fr. Costa says both of their written works have a domino effect that reach countless people throughout the world. However, none of this could have happened without the Vatican Publishing Library, and he is happy to be a part of the process of sharing the Gospel and papal messages. 

FR. GIUSEPPE COSTA
Former Director, Vatican Publishing Library
"To watch the pope's message and thoughts be put into a book by various publishers with this flow of ideas is a very beautiful experience. The pope for me is a publisher, and an author. So I abstractly listened to the pope as the main author at the publisher's service. A publisher is great if his authors are great. So to have Pope Benedict as author and to have Pope Francis as author means having the best from both worlds. So this is very positive.”

From now on, the work and continuous digital advancements at the Vatican Publishing Library will fall under the responsibility of the Secretariat for Communication, as the Holy See continuous their work of revamping Vatican communication and understanding the communication style of each pontiff, who is transmitting Christ's message to the world.