Pope Francis and the “Revolution of Gestures”

February 24 2016 : Msgr. Dario Edoardo Viganò weekly general audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican.

An interview with the prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for Communications, Msgr. Dario Viganò, on his new book, “Fidelity is Change”

First Twitter, now Instagram (, which is pure image. Is this a new leap in papal communications?

I believe so. Something very interesting comes across when a story is told through images, and so the idea of telling the story of a pontificate through images that touch the heart and emotions allows us to enable those who follow us to enter into the warmth of closeness with Pope Francis. And, I have to say, it’s been a unique story on Instagram: in 12 hours we gained more than one million followers.

Pope Francis is loved by all, including unbelievers. Why? What’s the secret to the consensus?

I think the secret is the truth of being human. That is, he is a man who has left behind a conceptual way of speaking based on logical argumentation, and he tells stories, he gives examples. Even his way of commenting on the Gospel during Mass at Santa Marta has now become a literary genre, a way of re-telling the Gospel by asking questions that are your questions, and mine.

This is his strength. And then, because they are words that have an important depth, the depth of his personal story. Even those who don’t believe admire a man who is great enough to call problems by their name. Sometimes, in the face of problems, he doesn’t have answers. When children ask him why little, innocent ones die, he says: “I don’t know the answer.” But he tells them what he does, that is, “I look at Jesus on the Cross.”

What is the Pope’s plan for reforming the Church?

He stated this at the outset, both in the Sistine Chapel and the day after, during his meeting with journalists, as well as during the March 19, 2013 Mass at the beginning of his pontificate: a poor Church for the poor.

That is, a Church that abandons the manner typical of the imperial, parastatal churches, to become a Church which is salt. No one eats salt on its own. Salt helps to accentuate flavours, it helps others to grow.

This kind of Church he has in mind: a Church that is a field hospital, a Church going out, a Church whose strength is precisely in its weakness. The Church is not an NGO. The she cares for the poor, for the least ones, for the marginalized, is not because she is a social agency, but simply because she has the Gospel at heart. We know from the Gospel that Jesus cares bout this and, faced with sin, Jesus doesn’t look back, to the sin committed, that is, but he looks to the future: “your sins have been forgiven, go and walk.

Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.