In an effort to render the Vatican more effective in today’s digital world, Pope Francis has established a new Secretariat for Communications, whose aim is to coordinate and streamline the Holy See’s multiple communications outlets.
The development of digital media, with its converging technologies and interactive capabilities, “requires a rethinking of the information system of the Holy See,” the Pope wrote.
This “reorganisation,” he wrote, “must proceed decisively toward integration and a unified management” so that “the communication system of the Holy See will respond in an ever more efficacious manner to the needs of the mission of the church.”
Pope Francis established the new secretariat with an apostolic letter given “motu proprio” (on his own initiative), dated June 27.
The Pope also appointed the top officials of the new department:
– Mgr Dario Vigano, director of the Vatican Television Center, will lead the secretariat as prefect.
– Argentine Mgr Adrian Ruiz Lucio will serve as secretary. He currently heads the Vatican Internet and telecommunications offices.
– Paolo Nusiner will be general director of the secretariat. He is managing director of Avvenire, the daily newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference.
– Giacomo Ghisani will be vice general director. He is currently director of international relations and legal affairs at Vatican Radio.
Nine Vatican media operations will be gradually integrated over the next four years while protecting people’s jobs, the Vatican has said.
According to the “motu proprio,” the nine offices to be “incorporated” are the Pontifical Council for Social Communications; the Vatican press office; the Vatican Internet office; Vatican Radio; the Vatican television production studio, CTV; the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano; the Vatican printing press; the Vatican photograph service, and the Vatican publishing house, Libreria Editrice Vaticana.
The different offices are to continue with their current mandates for the time being while adapting to the “indications given by the Secretariat for Communications,” the letter said.
The new department will take on the Vatican website, www.vatican.va, and the official Twitter account of the Pope: @pontifex.
The temporary headquarters of the new secretariat will be in Palazzo Pio — the headquarters of Vatican Radio.