Lord Patten appointed head of Vatican media committee

Vatican aims to modernise and re-vamp its online presence and communications strategy to reach wider audience

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The Independent Online

Lord Patten, the former chairman of the BBC Trust, will advise Pope Francis on how to modernise the Vatican's media strategy.

The former Hong Kong governor will be the president of an 11-member committee, including six experts from around the world and five Vatican officials.

Their goal is to re-vamp the Holy See's online presence and communications strategy in an effort to reach a wider and younger audience. The Vatican already has a number of websites and Twitter accounts, including that of Pope Francis (@pontifex) in nine different languages.

Lord Patten, a former Conservative Party chairman and a Roman Catholic, stepped down from the BBC Trust in May after undergoing a major heart surgery. At the time, he said it had been a "privilege" to serve as chairman in a heartfelt message in his resignation statement.

The Vatican has six separate communications departments, including a press and internet office and a communications council. It also has a newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, and a radio station, Vatican Radio, which broadcasts in 40 languages.