It was announced today (13 July 2016) that Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin as one of 16 Members of the newly established Vatican Secretariat for Communications. The body consists of six cardinals, seven bishops and three laypersons. Its aim is to oversee the coordination and streamlining the Holy See’s multiple communications outlets.
When Pope Francis began his reform of the Roman Curia in 2013 with the help of an advisory council of nine cardinals, one of the areas that received immediate attention was the Vatican communications operation.
Pope Francis commissioned a study and recommendations from the global management-consulting firm McKinsey & Co. Later an international commission headed by British Lord Chris Patten provided a specific road-map for a reform plan to be carried out over a 4-year period. The “reorganization,” the Pope 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,” especially in today’s digital world.
The responsibilities of the Secretariat, headed by Italian Monsignor Dario Vigano’, include coordinating the work of the Vatican website, Vatican Television Centre, Vatican Radio, the Vatican newspaper, the Vatican press office and Printing Press.
The announcement of the Members of the Secretariat falls just two days after the announcement of American Mr Greg Burke, as the new director of the Holy See Press Office.
This is an additional role for Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. The new board will likely meet a number of times annually.