The Vatican-owned L’Osservatore Romano debuted on Tuesday a street newspaper aiming “to give voice to the voiceless.”
L’Osservatore di Strada — in English “The Street Observer” — “is above all a newspaper with the poor,” according to a June 28 press release.
“Even those who have a cardboard box for a house have something to say and teach,” it said.
The monthly newspaper will be available both online and in print, which can be procured on Sunday mornings in St. Peter’s Square for a free-will offering.
All proceeds will go toward the poor and homeless assisting with the production of the paper.
Each edition of the street paper will be organized around a theme, and include editorials by people living on the streets, joint articles by both famous writers and marginalized people, reports on Pope Francis, and a section with artistic contributions by the poor, including drawings, stories, songs, and poems.
L’Osservatore Romano, online and in print, is now subscription-based after more than 135 years as the pope’s newspaper.
The newspaper was first launched in 1861 to defend the Papal States against the Italian political revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi in his bid to subsume the pope’s territories into a newly unified Italy.
The paper’s ownership was independent of the Church until 1885, when it was acquired by the Vatican during the reign of Leo XIII.
The daily edition of the newspaper is in Italian.
In 1968, a weekly edition in English was started. There are also weekly editions in Spanish, French, German, and Portuguese. The publication also has a monthly edition in Polish.