.- The new head of the Vatican Television Center says he was surprised when he was asked to lead one the Church’s important outlets for communicating the Pope’s teachings.
"It was an unexpected appointment because they were looking for me a week ago but I was visiting Brazil for a formation course for a favella's children project in the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro," said Monsignor Dario Edoardo Viganò, who will be replacing Father Federico Lombardi as director of the center.
Msgr. Viganò recounted for CNA on Jan. 23 how he received the call from the Vatican’s Secretary of States, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, as he was going to meet a religious sister who works with children whose parents are in jail.
"I then began dialoguing with Fr. Lombardi about this complicated world because the Vatican TV isn't a television channel, it's a center for documentation," he recalled.
"I'm just taking the first steps, and I'm really grateful to Fr. Lombardi, who is accompanying me with affection and benevolence, and the whole team at the Vatican TV," he said.
But Fr. Lombardi, 70, will continue fulfilling his other duties as director of the Vatican's press office and head of Vatican Radio.
Vatican TV records all of the Pope's images, not just those that go public, but also private meetings with ambassadors and heads of state.
"It's a job that entails documenting all images on the one hand, but also choosing those that will be the fountain for studying the history of the Church," Msgr. Viganò said, adding that his new post will be a full-time job.
He gave the example of how videos taken during Vatican Council II allow people to have a better understanding of it.
"I think the Pope's images are a way of sharing the words of his teachings, proclaiming the Gospel, and (sharing his teaching with) local churches,"
"We want to find all ways through digital media so that these images can best reach those who need them the most," he added.
According to the Brazilian priest, it is very important to spread these messages in a pastoral way.
He also believes that the Vatican's radio, TV and newspaper outlets should integrate and improve the way they share information.
"We all work with passion for the Church and to spread the Gospel, but converging is better than competing," said Msgr. Viganò, who is also a member of the Pontifical Theological Academy.
He said that young people today cannot imagine life without internet and that ''territory'' today takes on a whole new meaning.
"There's no difference now between being online and offline, or even a contrast," he said after highlighting the importance of theology in communication.
"There must be competence with modern technology and the fact that Pope has started using Twitter is important," said Msgr. Viganò.
He noted that we're called to use technology, but in a Christian way.
"This can only be born, not out of will, not out of thinking, but out of the new life in the Spirit," he said.
"Only like this will one be a communication professional as a Christian that knows how to testify to the Gospel," Msgr. Viganò remarked.
"The Church's relevance will be born when we learn again the language of giving testimony," he added.