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Formal statutes approved for Vatican's new Communications Secretariat

September 22, 2016

Pope Francis has approved statutes for the Secretariat for Communications, the new Vatican office that has been created to coordinate and streamline the media operations of the Holy See.

The statutes for the Secretariat have been published ad experimentum for a period of three years, allowing for changes to adapt to further developments, especially in the world of the new media. The statutes indicate that the new office is an attempt to “respond to the current media reality, characterized by the presence and development of digital media and their increasing social interaction." The office, under the direction of Msgr. Dario Vigano, the prefect of the Secretariat, is instructed to work closely with other Vatican dicasteries, but particularly with the Secretariat of State. The statutes take formal effect on October 1.

One major challenge facing the Secretariat is the consolidation of the Vatican’s diverse organs of communication, which to date have worked independently: Vatican Radio, the Vatican Television Center, the press office, the newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican publishing house and internet office, and other smaller offices. The statutes indicate that these offices are expected to “continue their activities, observing the current norms, yet following the guidelines given by the Prefect until the date when they will be incorporated into the Secretariat for Communications, at which time they will be disbanded.” Msgr. Vigano has said that the process of consolidating the Vatican’s media operations will not be complete until 2018.

 
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