First layperson appointed prefect for Dicastery for Communication

A layperson has been appointed for the first time as the Vatican’s prefect for the Dicastery of Communication.

Doctor Paolo Ruffini, the Director of the Catholic television station TV2000, was named by Pope Francis to lead the dicastery.

Ruffini, who has been a professional journalist since 1979, has received numerous awards for journalism.

He has also taken part in numerous conferences on the role of communications ethics, the new media, and the role of Christians in media.

Ruffini is replacing Msgr Dario Edoardo Vigano who was forced to resign earlier this year after the “Lettergate” scandal.

Ruffini is expected to continue the reforms started by Vigano.

The next phase involves amalgamating the four remaining communications entities.

These are the semi-official Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano (which has so far held out against changes to preserve its autonomy), the Vatican’s photographic services, its printing press and its publishing house.

Twelve language sections from the former Vatican Radio still have to be merged into the Vatican News website.

This is expected to be completed later this year.

Ruffini’s father was a former Minister of Foreign Affairs and a member of the Christian Democratic party.

He is a nephew of the late Cardinal Ernesto Ruffini (1888-1967), a former Archbishop of Palermo appointed by Pope Pius XII. Cardinal Ruffini resisted communism and the mafia, and was cautious about Church reform during the Second Vatican Council.

Another of Paolo Ruffini’s relations is right-wing Italian politician Enrico la Loggia who served as Minister for Regional Affairs in two Berlusconi administrations and is currently an Italian senator.


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