The Greek-language Cypriot newspaper 'Politis' ran the headline: "The Pope turns his tiara into a shield for migrants' The Greek-language Cypriot newspaper 'Politis' ran the headline: "The Pope turns his tiara into a shield for migrants' 

Cypriots pleased with local press coverage of Pope’s visit to Cyprus

In the wake of Pope Francis’ visit to Cyprus, a local journalist expresses appreciation for the way the Apostolic Journey was covered in the press and for the message the Pope delivered to the EU nation.

By Vatican News staff reporter

Pope Francis spent 3 days in the Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus, touching on a variety of topics which resonated deeply with local residents.

Speaking to Vatican News’ Christine Seuss, Peppinos Mousas, a local Maronite journalist, described the impact the Pope’s visit has already had on Cyprus.

A full transcript of the interview can be found below:

As a person involved a bit with the press, I had a close look on all the issues in the media in the days before, and even now that the Pope has concluded his visit and he's already left the island. I could say that the change has been a very big. It's huge.

The coverage that the Pope's visit received during these days—the days that he was here—was incredible. All the TV channels were showing almost everything, all his activities on the island were live on television. I mean, this never happens with the visit of anybody else on the island.

And of course, as a journalist you know that the media is capturing the pulse of the people and what's going on, so that they can produce their own decisions.

There was not that much coverage in the days before the Pope was here. I mean, very few, very few articles and very little coverage on the local press or the electronic media. But this has changed during these few days.

The speeches of the Holy Father, his whole attitude, the way he was looking into different issues, the way he was analyzing these various, huge and complicated issues for us, has impressed everyone and has made everyone think and speak about the Holy Father with very, very beautiful words. I have read some very beautiful comments on the media.

Peppinos Mousas, a reporter for a review of the Maronite community in Cyprus
Peppinos Mousas, a reporter for a review of the Maronite community in Cyprus

Q: Could you give some example of those comments?

I was reading a few comments coming not from Catholic people in Cyprus, but from Greek Orthodox people, who only had a very short experience of Pope Francis.

They were saying things like: ‘what a simple way of looking into things, we wish we had many people on the island looking into this big issues that we have here, with the simplicity and loving attitude.’

And of course, people were a little bit surprised, let's say. Sometimes they didn’t know about the Pope or they didn’t know about the head of the Catholic Church in advance. They didn’t know many things, but when they meet him, when they see and they listen to his words, things are much changed. Definitely.

Q: And how did the news and the people react on the news that the Pope would—not directly, but indirectly—be taking around 50 migrants from Cyprus to Italy?

The government's official reaction was that they were very much satisfied that the Pope is doing this gesture and as a symbolic gesture; he's taking some of these refugees and immigrants with him back to Rome.

And of course, on the official side they were happy that the Pope touched on all these issues when he was on the island and understood the role that Cyprus is playing on the issue of immigration.

He said that, of course, Cyprus is doing a lot, but it's up to its limits. I mean, we cannot do much more in Cyprus. So, this was a good message towards Europe, towards Western countries, to look into the matter more closely.

This gesture was really well received by the people, who are also very sensitive about this matter, and they are happy to see that at least some of these people have been taken to Western countries like Italy, where they will certainly have a good future.

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05 December 2021, 09:16