As (re)configurações comunicativas do papado na era da (auto)mediatização

  • Bernardino Dias Frutuoso

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This research explores media influence on the Catholic Church and its most significant figures, the popes, and the transformations arising from tense and complex processes of intersection between media logic and logic of the religious institution. To understand this phenomenon of the Church’s mediatisation we built an analytic track grounded on a theoretical multidisciplinary framework. It is based on Communication Sciences, especially in the emerging theoretical construct of mediatisation, but it includes contributions from other scientific fields, in particular from Sciences of Religion. The corpus research materiality is made up of multiple documents – textual, audio-visual and visual – and it includes materials produced by the popes and by the institution and what we obtained from the semi-structured interviews conducted with the heads of the Vatican Television Centre, the main producer of the Holy See’s mediated sensemaking. Developed analytical procedures include documentary, content and visual-semiotic analysis. The research results specify that the Church adapts media logic in its religious action and it engages in self-mediatisation strategies. These mediatisation processes enable the institution to inform, (re)construct Church/Pope’s symbolic representations, to manage visibility in the public domain and to create new forms of socio-technological interaction between the Popes/Church and believers/society. However, we do not perceive that the Catholic Church is losing its identity, replacing its internal logic with that of the media, or that this translates as transference of functions process from one institution (Catholic Church) to another (media). The results of this doctoral research question, in this way, mediatisation theses suggesting a more dynamic, complex and bidirectional understanding between the Catholic Church and the media. We infer that the incorporation of media logic in the Catholic Church’s religious activity does not mean submission or colonization of the original logic of the bimillennium-old religious institution to the media’s criteria and rationalities. Catholicism/Popes mediatisation can co-exist with the media’s catholicization and both processes can co-evolve in parallel.
Date of Award22 Jan 2019
Original languagePortuguese
SupervisorRita Figueiras (Supervisor)


  • Mediatisation
  • Religion mediatisation
  • Self-mediatisation
  • Media logic
  • Catholic Church
  • Pope Francis
  • CTV


  • Doutoramento em Ciências da Comunicação

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