For the past twenty years, Fr. Ciro Benedettini (MAPRAES) has worked as the Vice-Director of the Vatican Press Office. On January 31, 2016, he ended his assignment during which he served three Pontiffs (John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis) during a time of revolutionary changes in the communications field. During these years, he was a member of the Passionist community of Sts. John and Paul in Rome.
Fr. Ciro was born in San Marino, one of the two countries (the other being the Vatican City State) within the geographic boundaries of Italy. In 1962, he entered the Congregation in the former PIET Province and professed First Vows in 1963. He was ordained to the priesthood on 16 September 1972. After various theological studies in Rome, he subsequently studied journalism in Milan and, later in New York City. In 1979, he was assigned as Director of the publication, “L’Eco di San Gabriele” at the Shrine of St. Gabriel in the Abruzzo region of Italy.
In December 1994, he was named to the Press Office of the Holy See at the Vatican as Assistant to the then Director, Joaquín Navarro-Valls. The following year he was appointed Vice Director, a position he held until January 31, 2016.
On Sunday, January 31, 2016, numerous friends from the Vatican, including Fr. Federico Lombardi, Director of the Vatican Press Office as well as colleagues and fellow-journalists, gathered with Fr. Ciro and the local Passionist community at Sts. John and Paul to celebrate a Mass in Thanksgiving in the Basilica for his years of service at the Vatican.
In the presence of the local Passionist community, Fr. Joachim Rego, Superior General, thanked Fr. Ciro for his dedication to this ministry in communications and referred to him as a “good ambassador and the face of the Passionist Congregation in the Vatican and the Church”. During the Mass, Fr. Ciro spoke of this feelings of “joy and gratitude to God” for over twenty years of ministry in the Vatican and for the privilege of assisting three pontiffs, as well as working with numerous fellow journalists and colleagues in the Vatican Press Office.