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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis prays before he says or does anything

Daniel Arasa is the latest communications consultant appointed to the Vatican. It’s a role that coordinates well with his extensive experience as a university professor.   

Consultant, Dicastery for Communication
“A consultant, as the name indicates, is someone you consult, someone who gives advice. An ‘advisor’ outside of the institution who has their own personal vision, and can enrich the work being done inside the institution. It’s traditional for the Vatican Curia to seek collaborators from among people outside. In this case, professors from pontifical universities.”

Daniel Arasa has been on communications teams for several World Youth Days, and is Dean of the School of Church Communications at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, in Rome. 

He is very familiar with Pope Francis’ unique communication style, and describes him as “a box of surprises.”

Consultant, Dicastery for Communication
“He’s a Pope we see praying about things. He doesn’t just know how to talk or be spontaneous. It’s clear he meditates deeply on things. He explained it very well after his trip to Iraq. He said he made the difficult decision to go on the trip after thinking, meditating, and praying. After asking for God’s help in making the decision. In this sense he’s very open, he talks about his experiences and his doubts.”

Present-day communication is conditioned by many factors, says Arasa. But it’s the pandemic that is marking a turning point in the field.  

Consultant, Dicastery for Communication
“It’s not so much the technical dimension of communication that has to change, even though it’s obviously advanced enormously, and continues to advance in the right direction. Rather, we need to provide context, to explain and to help make sense of what’s being said. Not just talking about ‘breaking news’ and what’s happening right now.”

For Daniel Arasa, the principle aim of Vatican communications is to consider those most in need, wherever the Church is present in the world. 

Daniel Díaz Vizzi