The editorial activity of the Holy See is linked to the foundation of the Vatican Printing House which dates back to 27 April 1587, under the Pontificate of Sixtus V. The creation of Libreria Editrice Vaticana is part of the extensive efforts to modernize the Vatican structure begun during the Pontificate of Pius XI. In 1926, the old sales office was separated from the Printing House to become a new and autonomous entity entrusted with the production and sale of books printed by the Holy See in its own Printing House. Later, little by little, the Bookshop became a Publisher and today LEV is recognized as the official publisher of the Holy See with its own Statute, approved in 1991 by the Secretariat of State.
In the meantime, with the election of John Paul II, in 1978, the Libreria Editrice Vaticana was assigned the task of managing not only the traditional texts of the Magisterium and the Holy See, but also the writings of Cardinal Karol Wojtyła. Another step forward is due to the Decree of the Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, on 31 May 2005, which confirmed and made official the entrusting to the Publishing House of all copyright on the texts of the Holy Father. To this was then added, as for Cardinal Wojtyła, the entrusting and management of copyright on the writings of Cardinal J. Ratzinger.
Following the start of the reform of the Roman Curia prompted by Pope Francis, LEV is an integral part of the Dicastery for Communication of the Holy See since January 1, 2018. In synergy with the other Vatican media, it continues to promote and spread the Holy Father's Magisterium and the texts by the Roman Curia in the world. In this way the Gospel may reach all corners of the earth. For this reason, in the management of the copyrights of these texts, it watches over the fidelity of their diffusion in the world and thus supports - also economically - the charity of the Holy Father.
Moreover, LEV also promotes communication within the Church, seeking to give voice to significant ecclesial experiences (even if they are not well known), so that they may benefit the Church as a whole: what concerns a member, in fact, is for the edification and growth of the whole ecclesial body (cf. 1Cor 12).
Dicastery for Communication of the Holy See
br. Giulio Cesareo OFMConv.
Libreria Editrice Vaticana
Via della Posta
00120 Vatican City
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