Vatican Spokesman Awarded Doctorate

Vatican Spokesman Awarded Doctorate Father Lombardi Helps "Fill Our World With God's Message" TORONTO, MAY 28, 2008 (Zenit.org)

The director of the Vatican press office is a leader in filling the world with the message of God, said a representative of (Regis College of) the University of Toronto in awarding the Vatican official an honorary doctorate.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi was given an honorary doctorate from the Regis College, the Jesuit graduate faculty of theology at one of Canada's leading universities. Jesuit Father David Eley, in presenting the degree, said Father Lombardi's ministry is "all in a day's work -- radio, television, press office -- each a mission to the highest end of bringing God's word to life."

Since 2001, Father Lombardi has directed the Vatican Television Center. In 2005, he took over directing Vatican Radio and, the following year, the Holy See's Information Office as well. Last February, he was appointed a general consultor of the Society of Jesus. "Both appointments are evidence of the trust and confidence both the Holy See and the Society place in Father Lombardi at this time of new directions," contended Father Eley. "In a marvelous way today, God continues to reveal his compassion and concern for us through the media in every form; print, radio, television, the film and Internet fill our world with God's message. A leader in this ministry is Father Federico Lombardi."

Friendship - In the reception following the awards ceremony, Jesuit Father Joseph Schner, president of Regis College, said that Father Lombardi is promoting friendship and communion in the Church, and friendship with the Lord. Basilian Father Thomas Rosica, director of the Salt and Light television channel, noted his personal debt to the Vatican spokesman: "I have learned much from his gentle, quiet ways, his 'sensus Ecclesiae,' his humor and his ability to multi-task with such serenity."

For his part, Father Lombardi acknowledged: "When I ask myself how to summarize in a very few words the deeper significance of what has by now become my lengthy service in the field of social communications, I find ever greater resonance in the words: 'communication for union, communication for communion.' In this world, marked by so many divisions and so in need of reconciliation, words -- spoken or written -- or the message carried by an image, must in the first place serve to bring people together, to tell others the truth, to tell them what is good and beautiful; they must convey the joy of listening to someone who gives you something of their own knowledge, of their experience, of their life. And thus mutual knowledge also increases, mutual respect, and the desire to live and develop together in peace."