Vatican sanctions Catholic press organization

The Vatican has ordered the International Catholic Union of the Press (UCIP) to drop the word “Catholic” from its name.

Pontifical Council for the Laity president, Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, announced the ruling in a letter to UCIP dated March 23, KIpa-Apic says in a report cited by the Pray Tell blog.

The Pontifical Council for the Laity has responsibility over the UCIP and for some time has called for a change in the leadership of the union.

However, UCIP secretary-general Joseph Chittilappilly says that the letter from the Vatican does not change anything for the time being. A response is in preparation and will be addressed also to other Vatican authorities.

There is “false information” in the cardinal’s letter, according to Chittilappilly.

Cardinal Rylko expressed his bewilderment that Bernhard Sassmann, president of the UCIP, delegated his office of leadership to the general secretary.

Furthermore, UCIP had declined to discuss the issues raised by its priest advisor, Father Franco Mazza, who tol Kipa that one point important to the Vatican was not included in the minutes of the previous world assembly at Ouagadougou, namely, the discussion on the role of the general secretary, the only paid member of the executive committee.

The Vatican objected to the planned moving of the UCIP offices from Geneva and to the role of the general secretary within the organization. The Vatican wishes to examine his assigned duties, Pray and Tell notes. There is criticism also with respect to personnel, salaries, and term lengths. Further, the cardinal seeks further information on why members whose membership dues were allegedly in arrears were excluded from the world congress in Ouagadougou.

The Vatican complained further that the finances are not administered by the treasurer, but by the general secretary. In his letter of March 23, Cardinal Rylko wrote that there is lack of transparency in the finances. The union is seemingly “completely in the hands of the general secretary.”

Cardinal Rylko notes that the juridical action that he is taking does not impeach the good work carried out by UCIP members in the past. He encouraged all Catholic journalists, particularly those disappointed by what is happening in UCIP to “continue to spread the Gospel in the world of the press”.

UCIP was founded in 1927 and is recognized by the Vatican as a private international association of the faithful.


The International Catholic Press Union (UCIP) loses the identification “Catholic” (Pray, Tell)

L’UCIP doit ôter de son nom l’adjectif catholique (Kipa-Apic)


UCAP – Burkina Faso