A press briefing at the Vatican Press Office, Oct. 20, 2014. Credit: Bohumil Petrik/CNA.

The Vatican's committee on communications has finished its third round of visits to Vatican media branches, and will likely discuss the outcomes of the visits in their next meeting, due to take place in January. The committee has completed its rounds of visits to Vatican media branches, and also started collecting opinions and suggestions from journalists and Catholic agencies who deal often with Vatican news. With the wish to improve the system of the delivery of news and to rationalize expenses, the members of the committe made an on-site visit to the Holy See press office Dec. 17. According to a source who took part in the meetings, “the committee proved to be very attentive to the needs of the Holy See press office, and tried to understand how the work of the Holy See press office may be enhanced.” “Unlike the members of the Pontifical Commission of Reference for the Economic and Administrative Structure of the Holy See/Vatican City State (known with the Italian acronym of COSEA), the committee showed that cutting expenses is not their sole desire, but that that before all else they want to find an effective way of sharing information from the Vatican,” the source maintained. During the next meeting, in January, the members of the committee will likely discuss the outcomes of their visit, and will start analyzing in-depth the responses of communication experts and journalists on their desk. In the offing, there is the need for a comprehensive reform of  Vatican media, with a possible unification of the three major Vatican media outlets – Vatican Radio, Vatican Television, and L’Osservatore Romano – under a single digital platform. Until now, the Vatican outlets have depended directly on the Vatican State Secretariat, but some of the proposals for Curia reform on the desk of the members of the Council of Cardinals suggest the creation of an ‘ad hoc’ Secretariat for Communications within the Roman Curia. The notion of the establishment of a third Secretariat has however been seemingly discarded, while the idea of putting all communications under the Pontifical Council for Social Communications remains on the table.