Vatican starts monthly newspaper by and with the poor

Category : Education/Family

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. on the margins / ɑn ðə ˈmɑr dʒɪnz / (idiom) – referring to members of a group who only have very little power and receive less attention compared to others

    Because of the pandemic, many low-income families on the margins have become homeless and unemployed.

  2. riff / rɪf / (n.) – something that’s a little different from the original

    My friend opened a new bakeshop named Life of Pie, a riff from the title of the movie “Life of Pi.”

  3. tangible / ˈtæn dʒə bəl / (adj.) – real or actual, rather than imagined

    The medals displayed in Melissa’s house are tangible proof of her hard work as an athlete.

  4. discounted / ˈdɪs kaʊn tɪd / (adj.) – relating to actions that minimize someone/something’s value or importance

    It’s sad that despite globalization, there are still a lot of discounted people in society.

  5. iteration / ˌɪt əˈreɪ ʃən / (n.) – the act of repeating something

    The research group needs to do at least five iterations of the experiment to get useful data for the study.


Read the text below.

The Vatican newspaper has started a new monthly edition dedicated to the poor and people on the margins, aimed at not only telling their stories but involving them in the paper’s production and distribution, the Vatican said.

The first edition of L’Osservatore di Strada (The Street Observer), a riff on the name of the official Vatican daily L’Osservatore Romano, came out June 29, a special Roman feast day dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul.

Going forward, the Vatican plans to distribute the publication on the first Sunday of the month following Pope Francis’ noon blessing in and around St. Peter’s Square, handed out by guests of a nearby homeless shelter run by a Catholic charity. Donations of any amount would be welcome, the Vatican’s communications office said in a statement.

The initiative is tangible evidence of Francis’ push to give voice and value to the experiences of often-discounted groups such as the poor, homeless people and migrants and of the volunteer organizations that help them. The aim is to involve them in writing and illustrating their own stories, with poetry, photographs or other talents, and to provide them with resources to do so if need be.

“The Osservatore di Strada won’t be just a newspaper of the poor and for the poor, it wants to be, above all, a newspaper with the poor,” the Vatican statement said.

The first edition features a design by the street artist Maupal, whose graffiti art of Francis as “Super Pope” and subsequent iterations has graced buildings around the Vatican for years.

L’Osservatore Romano has another monthly edition dedicated to women, called Women, Church, World.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • According to the article, the initiative is Francis’ push to give voice and value to people on the margins. Why is it important to empower people on the margins? Discuss.
  • What do you think will be the impact of the Vatican’s push to involve people on the margins in the publication of the newspaper (ex. they’ll be able to show creativity, they’ll be given the chance to overcome their struggles)? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • In your country, are there people considered on the margins? Who are they? Discuss.
  • Do you know of any organizations in your country that help people on the margins? Would you like to participate in their efforts to help the often-discounted groups? Why or why not? Discuss.
Category : Education/Family