VATICAN CITY — As the process of reforming Vatican communications is carried out, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi will step down as director of Vatican Radio at the end of the month, though he will continue to serve as director of the Holy See Press Office.
A Feb. 22 communiqué from the Secretariat for Communications announced the decision and that Alberto Gasbarri, director of administration at Vatican Radio, will also be leaving his post.
Neither Gasbarri nor Father Lombardi, who has served Vatican Radio for 25 years, will be replaced. Gasbarri had coordinated papal trips for 40 years.
The head of the Secretariat for Communications appointed Giacomo Ghisani, deputy director of the secretariat, as Vatican Radio’s interim legal representative and director of administration.
Ghisani’s appointment is meant to ensure Vatican Radio’s “ordinary administration within the current context of review and restructuring of the Vatican’s media operations.”
Gasbarri’s post as organizer of papal trips is to be taken over by Msgr. Marcelo Rueda Beltz, an official of the Secretariat of State.
Vatican Radio’s director of programs, Father Andrzej Majewski, will continue to manage news for the service.
The personnel changes are part of the reform and unification of Vatican media being undertaken by the Secretariat for Communications, which was established in June 2015 with Pope Francis’ motu proprio “The Current Context of Communications.”
The editorial department of the Secretariat for Communications will likely take over direction of Vatican Radio, and at the same time, it will manage the delivery of news and image contents for Vatican Television.
At the moment, no director for the editorial department has been appointed yet, while the directors of the other departments were appointed Feb. 9.
The Secretariat for Communications includes other two departments: the theological-pastoral department, headed by Natasha Govekar, and the technology department, chaired by Francesco Masci, who had previously been responsible for the technical side of the Vatican’s Internet service.
Govekar’s department is to take over the functions of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and the technology department is to centralize on one platform all of the Vatican’s media departments.
According to a source who took part in the reform process, there will be a new website that will include both radio and television content.
The Secretariat for Communications’ editorial department will be in charge of news content.
The secretariat is meant to unify all the Vatican’s media branches, which include the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, the Holy See Press Office, the Vatican Internet Service, Vatican Radio, Vatican Television, L’Osservatore Romano, Vatican Typography, the photo service and Vatican Publishing House.
Vatican Radio and Vatican Television are to be unified this year. The statement from the Secretariat for Communications noted that the two bodies already share resources and jointly provide some services.
The statement added that “the task that awaits us offers a great opportunity to evaluate in both entities the areas of excellence and our patrimony of multilingualism and multiculturalism.”