By Cindy Wooden
The Vatican has now launched a new multimedia communications website.
Prefect of the Secretariat for Communication, Msgr Dario Vigano, announced the launch of the new site (in beta form) on 13 December.
The Vatican Radio and Television Centre sites will stay accessible as archives.
The public announcement of the new site came the day after Msgr Vigano presented the new design to Pope Francis and his international Council of Cardinals and explained to the council the progress made in unifying the various Vatican media.
“The cornerstone of the system, fruit of a process of consolidation on an economic and technical level, is represented by the Editorial Multimedia Center,” which will be a single structure responsible for producing audio, text, video and graphics in several languages and for use on a variety of platforms, including the new website and social media.
The Secretariat for Communication’s editorial board will determine how various events and issues are presented and covered.
In a statement from Msgr Vigano, the multimedia centre will eventually include about 350 employees drawn from the 40 language programs of the former Vatican Radio and from the nine institutions — the radio, Vatican newspaper, Vatican television production centre, Vatican printing press, etc. — that now form part of the secretariat.
The multimedia centre will begin its work with 70 people working in six languages: Italian, English, French, German, Spanish and Portuguese. They will focus on four areas: the Pope, the Vatican, the church and the world.
Director of the Vatican Press Office, Greg Burke, briefed reporters on the meeting of the Council of Cardinals of December 11 to 13, including on Msgr Vigano’s report that the new website and production centre are simply the “first visible and concrete expression” of the unified approach to communications requested by the Pope and cardinals.
More generally, the Pope and Cardinals discussed “the Curia as an instrument of evangelisation and of service to the Pope and the local churches,” Mr Burke said.
The idea of the “reform of the Roman Curia” is not simply to change structures, “but mentalities.”
United States Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, a member of the Council of Cardinals and President of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, briefed the group on the commission’s activity, “especially regarding its work in helping local churches.”