Pope Francis Appoints EWTN’s Michael Warsaw to Advise Communications Secretariat
The EWTN Chairman and CEO will have an important role in advising the overhaul of the Vatican’s media and communications apparatus.
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has appointed EWTN Global Catholic Network Chairman and CEO Michael P. Warsaw to serve as a consulter to the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communication, according to the Holy See Press Office.
The Vatican announced the selection of Warsaw on April 12, along with 12 other consulters with media expertise. They will be advising Pope Francis and the Vatican on media and communications matters as the Vatican continues to restructure its media operations.
“I am extremely humbled and honored by the Holy Father’s appointment,” Warsaw said. “This is a tremendous recognition of the role which EWTN plays in the life of the Church throughout the world. I am grateful to Pope Francis for his confidence and look forward to serving the universal Church in this post.”
As EWTN’s chairman, Warsaw has overseen the strategic direction and mission of the global Catholic media network since 2013, when he succeeded the late Deacon Bill Steltemeier, EWTN’s founding president. Warsaw has worked for EWTN since 1991, holding senior management positions in the areas of television production, satellite operations and technical service before becoming EWTN’s president in 2000 and then its CEO in 2009. He has served as the National Catholic Register’s publisher since EWTN acquired ownership of the newspaper in 2011.
Prior to joining EWTN, Warsaw worked at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. He also serves as a board trustee for The Catholic University of America, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and Catholic Distance University.
Mother Angelica, a Poor Clare of Perpetual Adoration, launched the Eternal Word Television Network on Aug. 15, 1981, when it began broadcasting out of the garage of the Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Irondale, Alabama. More than 35 years later, the EWTN Global Catholic Network has grown from approximately 20 U.S. employees to nearly 400, and today transmits programming to more than 268 million homes in 145 countries.
The global religious network has since expanded its Catholic media footprint, broadcasting television news programs, including the daily prime-time EWTN News Nightly With Lauren Ashburn, transmitting terrestrial, satellite and shortwave radio around the world, publishing the Register and Catholic News Agency news service, as well as operating a religious catalogue and a publishing division.
Pope Francis established the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communication in an apostolic decree issued “motu proprio” (of his own accord) on June 27, 2015, tasking it with the job of restructuring, reorganizing and consolidating the various communications outlets of the Holy See. Headed by its prefect, Msgr. Dario Viganò, the office oversees the Vatican Television Center, the Vatican Publishing House, L’Osservatore Romano newspaper, Vatican Radio, the Holy See Press Office, Photographic Service and the Vatican Internet Service.
In addition to Warsaw, other new consulters to the secretariat include Father Ivan Maffeis, undersecretary of the Italian bishops’ conference; Opus Dei Father José María La Porte, dean of the faculty of Institutional Social Communications of the Pontifical University of Santa Croce; Salesian Father Peter Gonsalves, of the Salesians of Don Bosco, dean of the faculty of the science of social communications at the Pontifical Salesian University; Dominican Father Eric Salobir, promoter general for social communications of the Order of Preachers; Jesuit Father James Martin of America magazine; Jesuit Father Jacquineau Azétsop, dean of the faculty of social sciences at the Pontifical Gregorian University; Paolo Peverini, professor of semiotics at Luiss Guido Carli University in Rome; Fernando Giménez Barriocanal, president and managing director of Radio Popular-Cadena COPE; Ann Carter of Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications in Boston; Graham Ellis, vice director of BBC Radio; Dino Cataldo Dell’Accio, chief information communications technologies auditor at the United Nations; and Michael Paul Unland, executive director of the Catholic Media Council.
CNA contributed to this report.