Vatican media committee appointed to bring Church into digital era

Vatican media committee appointed to bring Church into digital era

The appointment of a committee to propose reforms for the Vatican media raises expectations for a substantial renewal of the Vatican media branch, bringing it ever more toward the digital age.

The 11 people appointed for the committee are entrusted with drafting a reform plan within the next months, with the goal of adapting Holy See media to changing media consumption trends, enhancing coordination, and achieving substantial financial savings.

President of the committee will be Lord Christopher Patten of Barnes, currently chancellor of Oxford University and co-chair of the UK-India Round Table, who chaired the governing body of the BBC until he resigned because of a heart attack.

Secretary of the Committee has been appointed Msgr. Paul Tighe, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

On Vatican side, the other members are: Mgsr. Carlo Maria Polvani, head of the Office for Information of the Vatican State Secretariat; Giacomo Ghisani of Vatican Radio; Msgr. Lucio Adrian Ruiz of the Vatican Internet Service; and Giovanni Maria Vian, editor in chief of “L’Osservatore Romano”.

The senior experts appointed are Gregory Erlandson, American, president and publisher of the Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division; Daniela Frank, German, executive director of the Catholic Media Council; Fr. Eric Salobir, O.P., General Promoter of the Order of Preachers for Social Communication; Leticia Soberon, a psychologist who also served as official of the Pontifical Council for Social Communication; and George Yeo, a former minister for Foreign Affairs in Singapore.

The board of experts will meet later this year in Rome.

The basis of the discussions will be the conclusions drafted by the Pontifical Commission of Reference for the Economic-Administrative structure, or COSEA.

COSEA’s conclusions were drafted on the basis of a plan sketched by the company McKinsey & Co, which had been entrusted in December, 2013 to counsel the Vatican about an “integrated plan” for its media.

At the moment, none of the members of the committee contacted by CNA accepted to officially comment on their appointment and to give previews of the work they are going to do within the committee.

One of the members of the committee underscored July 10 that “obviously, the Vatican has a multi-faceted communications presence thanks to the work of many dedicated individuals.”

Another of the members of the committee stressed that “the committee is well balanced, it is not any more an only interior matter. There are experts coming from outside the Vatican, from Catholic media. The committee will not only provide or deal with opinions coming from outside the Vatican.”

This needed opening to the “exterior glance” of Catholic media is “an outcome of the digital era, since there are no more geographic nor institutional borders with the digital era.”

It is not the first time a committee for communication is established within the Vatican ranks. Around 30 years ago, while a curial reform was being discussed, an internal committee of experts convoked by the then chief of the office of information of the State Secretariat Msgr. Crescenzio Sepe – who is now cardinal and archbishop of Naples – studied a rationalization of Vatican media.

The Vatican has a daily newspaper, “L’Osservatore Romano”, a radio station and a television which delivers the footage of the Pope all over the world. In addition, it boasts the Holy See Press Office, from which all official information is delivered.

The Secretariat of State is in charge of the Holy See Press Office, and the Vatican radio and television.

The Pontifical Council for Social Communications – an outcome of the Second Vatican Council document “Inter Mirifica” – is involved in questions regarding the means of social communication, and must proceed in close connection with the Secretariat of State.

Under the umbrella of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, the Vatican has launched the Holy Father twitter account @pontifex, the information website news.va, and the Pope App.

The committee will build on this positive experiences to strengthen digital channels in order to gain more reach for the Pope’s message.

Notably absent from the list of appointees is Msgr. Dario Edoardo Viganò, director of Vatican Television.


Voices

Seeking the face of God in the Scriptures

Archbishop José H. Gomez

Prayer is seeking the face of God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church recalls the story of how St. John Vianney once found a peasant praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament. The saint asked him what he was doing, and the man replied: “I look at him and he looks at me.”

Events

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February 13, 2016

  • Saturday, February 13

    World Day of the Sick Mass, Mass and Anointing of the Sick, 12:30 p.m., Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels,  555 W Temple St, Los Angeles. Archbishop Gomez presiding with other bishops and priests. Special section designated for those in wheelchairs with volunteers available to help. Limited parking available for $8. Carpooling is encouraged. For more info: Chuck Huebner at cjhuebner @gmail.com or Jim LoCoco at flavialococ0@msn.com.

     

     

    Bosco Tech’s Yurak Memorial Run & Kids’ Fun Run, Check in begins at 8 a.m., Memorial Run at 9 a.m., Fun Run at 10 a.m., Bosco Tech, 1151 San Gabriel Blvd., Rosemead. Race registration is $35 per person. For school groups of 10 or more, the cost is $30. To register online, go to www.boscotech.edu/events or www.yurak.eventbrite.com; same-day registration available at check-in table. Included: racing fees, finisher medal, goodie bag and BBQ lunch. Plaques will be awarded to the top five male and female runners and to the fastest runner under 18.All proceeds to benefit Bosco Tech’s Yurak Athletic Center (YAC). 

     

    Cabrini Literary Guild “Sweetheart Bingo” Meeting, Sat., Feb.13 at Oakmont Country Club, 3100 Country Club Drive, Glendale. Meeting starts at 11 a.m., lunch at 12 p.m. ($30/person), and bingo social at 1 p.m. Bingo cards are $5 each, or $20 for five cards. For reservations, call (818) 790-3485.

     

    Footprints: Making Tracks for Neighbors in Need, 8:30 - 11:30 a.m., Bishop Amat High School track, 14301 Fairgrove Ave., La Puente. Catholic Charities San Gabriel Region will present this annual walk/run fundraiser to increase awareness about poverty, hunger and homelessness in the San Gabriel Region. Proceeds benefit those lacking basic needs, such as food, clothing, transportation and shelter. This is a come anytime, leave anytime event, with the first lap around the track to be led by Bishop David O'Connell. For more information, visit lentenfootprints.yolasite.com or contact Mary Romero at (213) 251-3582 or mromero@ccharities.org.

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