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Pope Francis appoints commission to reform Vatican media

Mgr Paul Tighe (Photo: CNS)

Pope Francis has set up a five-person committee – which includes the Irishman Mgr Paul Tighe – to find ways to implement recommendations for streamlining and modernising the Vatican’s many communications structures.

When the Pope met the Council of Cardinals this month, the cardinal advisers suggested he name a new commission to implement a reform plan drafted by a previous 11-member papal commission.

The reform effort is looking at how Vatican communications outlets can adapt to changing media consumption trends, better co-ordinate its existing channels and make substantial financial savings.

The Vatican announced the official establishment of the new commission and its members today. Three of the papal appointees are top-level officials at Vatican communications outlets. The five members of the commission are:

– Mgr Dario Vigano, 52, director of the Vatican Television Center, and now president of the new Commission for the Vatican’s Communications Media.

– Mgr Tighe, 57, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. He served as director of the Archdiocese of Dublin’s communications office and created its office for public affairs to aid in its communications efforts. He also served as secretary of the 11-member papal commission that came up with written proposals for revamping the Vatican’s media.

– Italian Jesuit Fr Antonio Spadaro, 48, director of the influential Jesuit journal, La Civilta Cattolica. He is a consulter for the councils for social communications and of culture. He is active on many social networks, contributes to a variety of online news sites and has the blog, “CyberTeologia”, which he says hopes to bring “the intelligence of faith to the web”.

– Argentine Mgr Lucio Adrian Ruiz, who was born in 1965, serves as head of the Vatican Internet Service and the Vatican’s telecommunications office. He runs the vatican.va website and he built the clerus.org website for the Congregation for Clergy.

– Paolo Nusiner, the only lay person on the commission, was born in 1963 and is managing director of Avvenire, the daily newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference. An expert in business, he has worked at Deloitte & Touche in Milan and is an adviser for an Italian federation of newspaper editors and an association of Christian business leaders.

The Vatican has nearly a dozen separate communication outlets and offices, many of which operate independently of one another. They include the Pontifical Council for Social Communications; the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano; Vatican Radio; the Vatican television production studio, CTV; the Vatican Information Service; the Vatican press office; the Fides missionary news agency; the main Vatican website; the news.va news aggregator; the Vatican publishing house LEV; and the Vatican printing press.