“The Jubilee has not only religious significance, but also implies ethical, moral, social and cultural rebirth,” Pope Francis wrote in a letter addressed to the Italian daily Il Messaggero, as it celebrates the 145th anniversary of its foundation. The letter was featured on the Rome-based newspaper’s front page. The Pontiff noted his hopes that the Jubilee 2025 will “liberate people, cities, nations and populations from all forms of slavery and degradation.”
“Your national newspaper, which has traversed Italian history from the late 19th century to the present, chronicling the country’s news, capturing the country’s diverse faces and reflecting on the challenges that have marked it, is still a strong point of journalism and information,” Pope Francis wrote in the letter, addressed to the daily’s president Francesco Gaetano Caltagirone.
The 86-year-old Pontiff also especially encouraged the “ethical dimension” of journalists’ mission. He underlined that “we are in a social and cultural season in which it is becoming increasingly difficult to discern truth by distinguishing it from fake news.”
The 2025 Jubilee: An opportunity for rebirth
Referring also to the forthcoming Jubilee 2025, which concerns “the whole world,” the Pope stressed that “the Eternal City” should become “the pole of attraction for reviving the Christian message and rekindling hope for those who, in life’s labors and inner longings, will come there as pilgrims.”
The Pope emphasized that the Jubilee Year is a “propitious time to put reconciliation with God and with each other back at the center of our lives, breaking the chains of evil, slavery and violence, which disfigure the beauty of human dignity.”
He called for “rethinking one’s existence” and “asking forgiveness for one’s shortcomings.”
“It is not, however — it is useful to remember — a matter of a single religious practice as an end in itself, but of a process that, while starting with individuals, involves all interpersonal relationships, with the intention of promoting a vision of a more just and fraternal society, in which errors and faults are remitted, those who have done wrong are helped to recover, justice is restored, and, thus, reconciliation and the building of a more supportive and, above all, more humane world is fostered,” Francis insisted.
The Argentine Pontiff visited Il Messaggero’s offices in the center of Rome in December 2018, on the occasion of the 140th anniversary of the newspaper. He had said then that it was “the only newspaper” he read every morning, before working.
Founded in 1878, this newspaper, whose title means “The Messenger,” is considered to be of a center-left political leaning and had a circulation of 60,000 editions in 2020, according to the Italian Press Dissemination Assessment.