(In)formal discourses, (in)formal societies? What the Popes’ portrayal in the press can tell us about the importance attributed to the Church

Márcia Dias Sousa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review



The speeches delivered by the Popes in the United Nations General Assembly were broadly reported, especially in countries sharing the Catholic religious tradition, such as Portugal. These news reports represented processes of rewriting (Lefevere, 1992): of events which occurred in a foreign country, in foreign languages and in particular contexts of time and space, and in which contents “[have] been shaped for its receivers [and] mediated through several sets of filters” (Bielsa and Bassnett, 2009: 117). We consider that the textual representation of the pontiffs while source agents was part of such processes, since semantic choices reflect “a certain way of looking at the world, a certain ideology” (Lefevere, 1987: 273), thus they manifest news producers’ agency (Kinnuen and Koskinen, 2010). The designations of the Popes – varying from “His Holiness” and “Holy Father” to “Jorge Bergoglio” or “the Argentin” – also influence the reading of the pontifical (translated) messages in the whole, given that “[f]acts, objects and concepts acquire meaning only within a semiotic framework” (Lefevere, ibid.), thus it is the whole framework what determines how contents are interpreted.
We propose to compare two of the most influent newspapers in Portugal (Diário de Notícias and Jornal de Notícias), in order to understand how differently the role of the Popes and the authority of the Catholic Church was translated by (in)formal designations of the pontiffs, and which major changes can we identify throughout time. We will focus on the first articles published about all five official papal visits in both newspapers.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2019
EventNew Voices in Portuguese Translation Studies II: 2nd Graduate Symposium in Translation - NOVA FCSH, Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 14 Feb 2019 → …


ConferenceNew Voices in Portuguese Translation Studies II
Period14/02/19 → …


  • Discourse analysis
  • Diário de Notícias
  • Jornal de Notícias
  • Pope Francis
  • Pope Benedict XVI
  • Pope John Paul II
  • Pope Paul VI


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