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Pope names Brazilian born priest new head of Vatican TV
By Estefania Aguirre

.- In a restructuring of Vatican communication departments, a Brazilian born priest will be the new director of the Vatican TV station.

Pope Benedict appointed Fr. Dario Edoardo Viganò, professor at the Pontifical Lateran University and cinema expert, to take the place of Father Federico Lombardi.

“I feel very happy about this decision that has been taken because I still have a lot of work to do as head of Vatican Radio and as head of the Vatican's press office,” Fr. Lombardi, 70, told CNA.

“As long as they don't appoint a new head for these two posts, I will still remain here,” the Jesuit priest added, laughing.

The Pope named Fr. Lombardi as the Vatican's press office director in 2006, a role which later meant also heading both Vatican Television Center and Vatican Radio.

Fr. Viganò, who was born in Rio de Janeiro on June 27, 1962, is a professor at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome and veteran in cinema. He is a member of the Pontifical Theological Academy and of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

The Vatican's television station, or CTV, was founded in 1983 to broadcast Vatican activities, including the Pope's weekly general audience and angelus. It broadcasts an average of 200 live events each year.

In additional restructuring, the Pope also appointed Journalist Angelo Scelzo, the undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, as deputy director of the Vatican Press Office.

The new appointment is a way of uniting the accreditation process at the Holy See's press office. Previously, the Press Office was in charge of accrediting print journalists while the Pontifical Council for Social Communications coordinated accrediting cameramen and photographers.

Scelzo, however, will connect the two media departments. He will manage audiovisual accreditations and work with current deputy director, Fr. Ciro Benedettini.

“The decision of the Secretariat of State to finally unify the accreditation sector has been expected for a long time,” said Fr. Benedettini.

“This was just nonsensical in the present situation of cross media where print journalists can also film for a website,” he told CNA.

The Pontifical Council for Social Communications and the Vatican's press office will now be separated between “news” and “projects” accreditations. The press office will authorize news coverage at the Vatican while the social communications department will authorize documentaries.

Established by Pope Pius XII in 1948, the Pontifical Council for Social Communications aims at spreading the gospel with new media. Its president is Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli and its secretary is Monsignor Paul Tighe.

Tags: Vatican media


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