As of today, the Secretary for the Vatican Communications has its own statute. Pope Francis approved it “ad experimentum”, for three years, on 6 September. The document provides the legal framework of the new Congregation born in June 2015 and led by Monsignor Dario Edoardo Viganò (President) and Monsignor Lucio Adrian Ruiz (Secretary). Italian is the official language, there will be full cooperation with all departments of the Curia, in particular with the Secretariat of State, and it will be responsible for the new website of the Holy See and for the Pope’s social media accounts.
As recalled in the statute, which takes effect with today’s publication, the Secretariat for Communications was born with the motu proprio “The current communicative context” of 27 June 2015. Here “will come together the organisms that the papal document itself mentions, namely: the Pontifical Council for social Communications, the Hall the Internet Press Service of the Holy See, the Vatican, Vatican Radio, the Vatican Television Center, L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican Press, the photo service and the Libreria Editrice Vaticana”. To fulfil its functions, the Secretariat – the statute says – “acts in collaboration with the other respective departments, working with proper material and in particular with the State Secretariat”. It is endowed ”with human and material resources, in proportion to its institutional functions, within the limits set by its organic table.”
“The working language used by the Secretariat for Communications is Italian”. All documents, data and information available to the Secretariat for Communications are covered by professional secrecy. The prefect, assisted by the secretary, “directs and supervises the activities of the Department and represents also the Secretariat for Communication in relationships with entities external to the Holy See.”
The Secretariat is divided into five directorates: Directorate for General Affairs (Paul and James Nusiner Ghisani), the directorate of the Holy See Press Office (Greg Burke and Paloma García Ovejero), technology directorate (Francesco Masci), theological pastoral directorate (Nataša Govekar ) and editorship, still vacant, which will address the responsibility and coordination of all the editorial lines of competence of the department, the strategic development of new forms of communication and the effective integration of traditional media with the digital world. Every directorate depends on the Prefect and on the Secretary and “are equal in the exercise of their activity.”
Besides, “the Prefect may propose to the Higher Authority, through the Secretariat of State, the institution of other entities or institutions connected to the Holy See, linked to the Secretariat for Communication, in order to safeguard particular legal, editorial, or economic requirements, which should arise during the single activities of the Secretariat for Communication while carrying out its functions.”