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Expect resistance to reform of Vatican media operations, says Lord Patten

June 04, 2015

Efforts to streamline the Vatican’s media operations will meet with “foreseeable opposition and resistance,” according to the chairman of a papal commission charged with recommending a plan for reform.

Lord Patten said that his commission had not made any radical suggestions. Although the commission’s final report was “surrounded by rumor and mystique,” he said that he wants to assure the public that “what we were proposing wasn’t particularly terrifying.” The reform plan, he said, was “a perfectly feasible set of ideas.”

Lord Patten said that the core of the reform, the consolidation of Vatican social-communications offices, was overdue. “A department—part of which gathered the news, and the rest disseminated it—is a statement of the blindingly obvious,” he remarked.

As things stand, the Vatican’s media efforts are divided among several different offices, which work independently with little coordination. Lord Patten referred to the different offices as “a collection of silos.” He observed that, paradoxically, the Vatican’s approach to social communications is “both under-managed and over-managed.”


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