Pope Francis criticises overuse of adjectives

Pope gives views on language in speech to Vatican communications team


In a speech to the team on Monday, the pope took particular aim at the word “authentic”, especially when describing “authentic Christians”.

“We have fallen into the culture of adjectives and adverbs, and we have forgotten the strength of nouns … Why say authentically Christian? It is Christian! The mere fact of the noun ‘Christian’, ‘I am Christ’ is strong: it is an adjective noun, yes, but it is a noun.

“The communicator must make people understand the weight of the reality of nouns that reflect the reality of people. And this is a mission of communication: to communicate with reality, without sweetening with adjectives or adverbs.”

The Vatican Dicastery for Communication, led by prefect Paolo Ruffini, underwent a revamp this year, with Matteo Bruni, a British-Italian, appointed as director of the press office in June. Bruni’s appointment came after the abrupt departure of American Greg Burke in late December.

Francis began his speech to the communications team by saying: “I have a speech to read, it’s not that long, it’s seven pages … but I’m sure that after the first one the majority of you will fall asleep.”

He later added: “For the Church, communication is a mission. No investment is too great for spreading the Word of God. At the same time, every talent must be well spent, made to bear fruit.”
Francis thanked the team, which is also responsible for maintaining his hugely popular Twitter account, for their work.

“But what should communication be like?” he said. “One of the things you must not do is advertising, mere advertising. You must not behave like human business that try to attract more people … To use a technical word: you must not proselytise. It is not Christian to proselytise.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.