Getting Accredited with Vatican Press Office

ROME – The UCAN news operations director in Bangkok, Bill Condie was quick to flash the news (17 Sept) “Fr Paul will be keeping an eye on things there for us from time to time amid his other workload and studies.”
My last visit to the Sala Stampa Vaticana (Vatican Press Office) was in April this year. Then I was part of a group of International delegation attending the Santa Croce University Rome’s Church Communications Congress. This time I visited Vatican Press Office for my own accreditation as UCAN (Union of Catholic Asian News) correspondent. The procedure took only just two days (3 + 3 hours) each day, as I had send in the required documents digitally from Kolkata prior to my arrival in Rome on 14th Sept night.
On 15th Sept morning I went over to the Press Office (accreditation hours 11 am to 1 pm) with a duly signed passport size photograph… I found there such a long line of journalists awaiting accreditation for the Pope’s UK trip (16 Sept) that Mr. Francesco at the front desk told me, no pint in waiting! He very kindly handed me a white envelope and assured me that he would forward my photo to Dr Mateo Bruni the accrediting officer.
Francesco a friendly guy, also insisted that I call up next morning after 9.30 am and gave me Dr Bruni’s number.
Dutifully next morning, I called up Dr Bruni and one Titiano answered the phone and told me that my PERMANENT accreditation card was ready and I could pick it up right away.
So, I went over and collected it… also paid up Euro 60, three year accreditation fee.
Dr Bruni made me sign some papers (Embargo regulations) and gave me the password for the RESERVED AREA of the Press Office site…
And he was very kind to show how my password worked…
Alas, it did not work at the first three attempts on 16th Sept… However, he assured me that the activation could take a day or two more… Even this morning 10 am (17 Sept), I was denied access to the reserved Area!
Dr Bruni, a member of the San Egidio Community Rome has visited Guwahati and Shillong in northeast India and speaks fluent English.
He was kind enough to give me a guided tour of the place even though I insisted I didn’t need it. The Vatican Press Rooms had a deserted look as most journalists left with the Pope to UK. I looked up CNS cabin for John Thavis and Cindy Wooden (Rome Bureau Chief and Senior Correspondent). Carol Glatz, recently appointed CNS Rome correspondent, watching live transmissions of Pope’s arrival in Scotland told me that both were away with the Pope.
I see that Fr Lombardi’s men have come a long way in speeding up accreditation work since 1992-95 when I was accredited with them as Director of ANS Rome, the Salesian News Agency with 20 bureaus around the world.


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Filed under Don Bosco, Salesian, UCANews

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