By Vatican News staff reporter
Pope Francis has felicitated the weekly German-language edition of the Holy See’s newspaper L’Osservatore Romano (Italian for The Roman Observer), for its 5 decades of service in “edifying” its readers with an inside look into the Church of Rome and the world. “With affection, I have taken note of the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the weekly edition of L'Osservatore Romano which is being celebrated in these days. I gladly accompany the collaborators, as well as the German-speaking readers, with my prayers.” the Pope wrote in a brief letter to the newspaper.
“For half a century,” he noted, “the newspaper has been edifying its customers week by week with a look inside the events of the Church of Rome and that of the world; it reports on the Word of the Successor of Peter and provides a rich variety of cultural contributions.” All this, Pope Francis said, makes it possible for the faithful of local Churches to know the Universal Church better. He concluded imparting his apostolic blessing on all those contributing to “this service of mediation” and to all its readers.
An initiative of Paul VI
The German edition was started in 1971, under the initiative of Saint Pope Paul VI. "With joy We welcome the new weekly edition of the L’Osservatore Romano in German and accompany its appearance with Our good wishes,” the Pope wrote in a letter dated October 1, 1971. "May it contribute to fostering the spirit of fraternal communion among the People of God.” He imparted his blessing on “those who meritoriously contributed to the realization of this initiative”, as well as to all the collaborators and readers of the newspaper.
The German edition
The German edition consists of two fascicles. The first provides information and news of the Holy See, the Universal Church, and the local Churches, as well as cultural sections and in-depth doctrinal and historical reflections. The second fascicle is devoted to the activities of the Pontiff, including the translation of his discourses and interventions. Since 1986 it has been printed in Germany by the publishing house Schwabenverlag which also is responsible for its distribution and subscriptions. It is also available in digital form.
Other language editions
The original edition of L’Osservatore Romano is the Italian daily, which was started 160 years ago in 1861. The daily is published 6 days a week (except for Monday). The weekly editions are available in French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, and also Italian. A Polish edition is published monthly. There is also a weekly edition printed in the Malayalam language in India, and a biweekly edition in Hungarian printed in Hungary.