Würzburg, Germany, Dec 20, 2019 / 10:24 am
In what came as a surprise to many members of the Catholic elite in Germany, Pope emeritus Benedict XVI has launched a foundation for Catholic journalism in his home country.
"I want the Catholic voice to be heard," the retired Roman pontiff, who has resided in a Vatican monastery since his 2013 resignation, said of his decision.
Named after a weekly Catholic newspaper, the goal of the "Tagespost Foundation for Catholic Journalism" is to raise the equivalent of about $500,000 in 2020 to invest in training young journalists and to support a variety of projects, including research into issues of biomedical ethics, in Germany.
Given that the country's tax-rich dioceses and powerful bishops' conference are already financing a wide array of media projects and news outlets that provide training, including a dedicated Catholic journalism school based in Munich, the initiative by the pope emeritus was recognized by both supporters and critics as a strategic move to bolster orthodox Catholic reporting independent of episcopal and other influences.