Giovedì, 20 Settembre 2018
VATICAN CITY

ANSA journalist breaks news of papal resignation

English
© ANSA

Vatican City, February 12 - ANSA journalist
Giovanna Chirri was the first to report the resignation of Pope
Benedict XVI thanks to her polished Latin skills.
"It made me cry," said Chirri. "I fought to keep my nerve
despite my knees feeling weak".
Chirri was among just a few journalists in the Vatican
press room Monday during a routine consistory when the pope, 85,
announced in Latin he was stepping down due to age and declining
health.
Chirri, who has covered the Vatican since 1994, said that
the pope's Latin is "very easy to understand," though admitted
to questioning herself when hearing the news, which came after
20 minutes of announcements in Latin concerning three upcoming
canonizations that most outlets had chosen not to cover.
"(The news of) his resignation didn't seem real to me," she
said. "I told myself 'you misunderstood'".
When the announcement was repeated with the date of the
pope's official resignation on February 28 at 20:00 local time,
Chirri filed a bulletin with ANSA.
It was eventually picked up by the rest of the
international media.
A devout Catholic with "great admiration" for Benedict,
Chirri stressed how she has "always tried to keep her Christian
faith separate from my role as a journalist".
"I was upset that he was resigning," she said. "That's what
made me cry".

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