This office is headed by Joaquin Navarro-Valls, director since 1984. He has been the spokesman for all papal dealings with the media. He oversees a staff of eighteen full time workers and nine part time employees. He holds around 70 press conferences a year and normally issues credentials to the press averaging about 2,000 issued each year. The Vatican Press Office also publishes around 500 issues of the Bulletin or Bollettino each day and often some days there are more than one depending on papal activities or annoucements. He also oversees the staff who handle the Holy See's official web site at www.vatican.va.
Though the concept for this originated with Pope Leo XIII one hundred years ago to supply information to Italy's Catholic newspapers and its duties expanded under Pope Pius XII in 1939, the real necessity for this office stems from the need to communicate daily information to reporters during the Second Ecumenical Council. Thus Pope Paul VI established it on February 29, 1968 full time replacing the daily information services previously provided by staffers of L'Osservatore Romano. In 1986 Pope John Paul II issued new directives for this office.
This office has become an electronic news agency for the Holy See. Headed by Dr. Miguel Castellvi as director, his responsibilities are to oversee the dissemination of brief news stories, usually four or five a day sent out by fax or e-mail to over 8,000 subscribers which includes all dioceses and nunciatures throughout the world. These stories are sent out in either English, Spanish, French or Italian. This Office was founded as a split from the Vatican Press Office and L'Osservatore Romano in 1990.
L'Osservatore Romano still remains involved with both offices but is a separate entity and dates back to 1861 as the official publication for information from the Holy See. The weekly newspaper, published in Italian with issues available in English and other languages has branched out to the internet where highlights of the paper can be seen on-line through the Vatican web site.
This office was established in August 15, 1967 by Pope Paul VI and attached to the Secretariat of State under the supervision of Cardinal Angelo Sodano. The responsibilities of the Central Statistics Office are to compile, systematize and analyze information on the status and condition of the universal Church. This is the office which recently announced that there are now one billion Catholics in the world, nearly one third of the total population.