In jail, Cardinal Van Thuan would receive L'Osservatore Romano wrapped around packages
The L'Osservatore Romano, written and printed at the Vatican is a daily newspaper in Italian with weekly editions in several languages. While it contains plenty of reports on contemporary culture and social issues, the paper more or less remains the mouthpiece of the Vatican.
Talking about the significance of the newspaper, Jean-Michel Coulet, head of the French version of L'Osservatore Romano says that Cardinal Van Thuan, who was jailed in Thailand for about ten years used to receive L'Osservatore Romano from his mother who wrapped his packages inside the newspaper. “This allowed him to read the Pope’s words for many years with the help of these packages his mother sent to him, and that the guards didn’t detect,” Couley says.
Thuan was named the Archbishop of Saigon just seven days before the fall of South Vietnam to the communist North in 1975. He was then imprisoned for 13 years, nine of which were spent in solitary confinement.
The paper covers all the Pope’s activities and publishes editorials written by Church leaders. The paper claims to present the “genuine” face of the church.
So what does the newspaper think about the recent and shocking decision of the Pope to announce his resignation, Giovanni Maria Vian, Director L'Osservatore Romano told AFP: “The Pope who resigned did so in dramatic or tragic situations, whereas this time the Pope resigned at a time of relative calm. He resigned fairly and publicly in accordance with the conditions required by the Cardinal Law.