VISIT OF THE HOLY FATHER TO THE WORK-COMMUNITY OF THE DICASTERY FOR COMMUNICATION
ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
Palazzo Pio - Monday, 24 May 2021
Thank you for your work, for what you do. I have only one concern - there are many reasons to be concerned about the Radio, about L'Osservatore Romano - but one that touches my heart: how many listen to the Radio, and how many read L'Osservatore Romano? Because our work is to reach the people: that what we work on here, which is beautiful, great, and laborious, reaches the people, both with translations and also by short waves, as you said... The question you must ask is: "How many? How many people does it reach?", because there is a danger - for all organisations - that despite a good organisation, good work, it doesn't get where it needs to go... A bit like the story of the birth of the mouse: the mountain that gives birth to the mouse... Every day ask yourself this question: how many people do we reach? How many people get the message of Jesus through "L'Osservatore Romano"?
This is very important, very important!
As you urge us to do, we also try a little bit to integrate and become more communicative, not to give voice to whoever shouts the loudest. This is something you always stress. We will be asking ourselves this question, we are asking it, we are already asking it: it is in a sense the fruit of this reform that you called for and that is somewhat visible in this visit, that is to say, trying to integrate this system and to reach as many people as possible. As a radio station - and I can agree with you on the basis of this exhortation - more than a thousand radio stations around the world record us, that is, they record our content and in turn send it back through their systems. It is a service that we try to do. Thank you, Holy Father.
If I may add, Holy Father, in comfort of what you are telling us: Radio today is a living instrument, an instrument that, despite the new technologies, remains always an instrument that reaches the people and is in perfect health. And this can be a help, a contribution to achieve what you are saying.
Yes, that's true, that's true.
Thank you, thank you very much.
Thank you very much for your work. I am happy, I have seen you all together here. I have seen this well organised building, and I like that. The unity of the work... The issue is that this large and complicated system works. I am reminded of a tendency in Argentina: when someone was appointed to an important position, the first thing he did was to go to Nordiska, a company to do the interiors, without looking at his desk, his studio, he sent everything new, everything perfect, beautiful. The first decision that minister, that official, made. Then, it didn't work. The important thing is that all this beauty, all this organisation works. To function is to go ahead... The great enemy of functioning well is functionalism. For example, I am the head of a section, I am the secretary of that section, the leader. But I have seven sub-secretaries. Everything is always fine, fine. Someone has a problem, goes to the under-secretary who has to solve it, who says: "Wait a moment, then I'll answer you". He takes it and calls the secretary... I mean: they're useless. Incapable of deciding, incapable of taking the initiative. Functionalism is lethal. It puts an institution to sleep and kills it. Be careful not to fall into this trap: it doesn't matter how many places there are, whether the studio is beautiful or not. What matters is that it works, that it is functional, and not a victim of functionalism. Be careful, careful about that. And when something is functional, it helps creativity. Your work must be creative, always, and go beyond, beyond, beyond: creative. That is called functioning. But if a work is too well ordered, it ends up caged and is not useful. This is the only thing that, seeing such a beautiful organisation, so well done, seeing all of you together, I have to say: be careful! No functionalism. Yes, functional to the work, what you have to do. And for a structure to be functional, everyone must have sufficient freedom to function. That they have the ability to take risks and not go asking for permission, permission, permission...: this paralyses. Functional, not functionalistic. Understand? Go ahead and be brave. Thank you!
Bulletin of the Holy See Press Office, 24 May 2021