By Vatican News staff
The daily newspaper of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, Avvenire, was founded in December 1968 with the merging of two other newspapers, Bologna’s “L’Avvenire di Italia” and Milan’s “L’Italia”. According to the journal’s website, its existence is connected with “a person, a choice, and an event”.
Blessed Pope Paul VI gave much support to the newspaper, particularly its efforts to provide Italian Catholics with a common cultural medium.
Avvenire was founded as a popular instrument of information and comment on the reality of the contemporary world. It was a concrete choice made in response to the Second Vatican Council as a means to communicate the Gospel and the spirit of that same Council.
The event that characterizes the foundation of this daily Catholic journal is the publication of Inter Mirifica (Decree On the Media of Social Communication) which was approved on December 4, 1963.
Pope Francis himself gave an interview to Avvenire in November 2016, just a few days before the end of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. He answered 23 questions by Italian journalist Stefania Falasca, a personal friend of the Pope whom he contacted by telephone a few moments after his election to the See of Peter. Mercy, ecumenism, and his reflections on the legacy of the Second Vatican Council were among the topics that he discussed.
Avvenire is one of the few newspapers in Italy whose circulation is growing, despite competition from online news sources. Recent innovations at the paper, such as including regular features on bioethics and culture, as well as a jobs and employment section, are said to be key factors in the rise in circulation.
In addition to church news, the paper covers topics as diverse as politics, international affairs, economics and history. An entire section of its website is devoted to the 50th Anniversary celebrations of the paper.