Father Dario E. Viganò, president of the MAC Foundation, shares about the foundation in a May 2, 2023, presentation at the Vatican’ Apostolic Library / Credit: Father Dario E. Viganò

Rome Newsroom, May 3, 2023 / 13:00 pm (CNA).

Unveiled this week, an Italian foundation aims to both preserve and give better access to the audiovisual heritage of the Catholic Church.

One member of the MAC Foundation, which takes its name from the Italian initials for “Audiovisual Memories of Catholicism,” said the foundation is working to create a digital library that will be “a single online access point” for historic archives related to Catholicism.

It will be “a great digital archive and portal of studies and documentation available to everyone,” Gianluca della Maggiore, director of a research center on Catholicism and audiovisual studies, said in a statement Tuesday.

The foundation’s president, Father Dario E. Viganò, told CNA the foundation will make an announcement about its first two to three projects in a few months, with a goal to complete them by the end of the year.

“The idea is to build a space on the web that can serve as a reference point for the strand of studies both on the research side and on the teaching side,” Viganò said in a speech delivered May 2.

“Secondly, the idea is to build a space that, in collaboration with film libraries and archives, functions as a thematic historical portal for accessing the patrimony.”

In a message to the foundation May 2, Pope Francis said “the goals your foundation intends to pursue respond to a real cultural urgency for the whole Church.”

“Audiovisual sources have, after all, become historical traces central to our recent past,” he said.

The pope called video footage a “complement” to written records accessible to anyone, no matter his or her language or education level.

“Although they are a recent heritage, the sources are a fragile patrimony that needs constant care: The Church Catholic has already, unfortunately, lost much of the audiovisual documentation that tells its 19th- and 20th-century history, due to neglect and lack of resources and expertise,” he said.