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Saturday, 04 March 2023 11:11

St Titus Brandsma, Patron of Journalists?

According to the latest issue of America, a monthly magazine published by the American Jesuits, Pope Francis has expressed “full support” for naming St Titus Brandsma “a patron of journalists.” The pope’s statement came in response to a request by Mr Van Lierde and three Dutch journalists during an interview. On 15 May 2023, the Church will be celebrating the 1st anniversary of Titus’ canonization by Pope Francis at St Peter’s Square in Rome.

During a press conference organized by the Order’s Communications Office and held days prior to the canonization of St Titus, a Dutch journalist asked Míceál O’Neill, the prior general, for his support in the efforts to have Brandsma named patron of journalists. He presented the prior general with a letter to Pope Francis from Catholic journalists accredited to the Vatican.

The letter outlined reasons why the newly canonized St Titus should be designated as patron of journalists. Part of the letter says “you will canonize a man who embodied these crucial journalistic values until his dying day ...” The journalists recall the 2018 admonition of Pope Francis for journalists “to promote a journalism of peace,” a “journalism that is truthful and opposed to falsehoods, rhetorical slogans, and sensational headlines. A journalism created by people for people, one that is at the service of all, (…) a journalism committed to pointing out alternatives to the escalation of shouting matches and verbal violence.”

Later in the letter the journalists write that they see St Titus as a friend and advocate for the entire profession, indeed a patron saint of journalism.

Emmanuel Van Lierde is the former editor in chief of Tertio, a Belgian Christian weekly. The pope gave the interview on 19 December 2022, two days after he celebrated his 86th birthday and a day after Argentina won the World Cup. The text of the interview now appears in Dutch in a book reviewing the 10-year pontificate of the pope written by Mr Van Lierde. The book is entitled Paus Franciscus: De conservatieve revolutionair (Pope Francis: The conservative revolutionary) as well as in the weekly Tertio.   (Source: CITOC 29/2023)

Read more about St Titus Brandsma here & here

Published in News
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