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Hong Kong's ex-governor to head Vatican media reform

Patten to lead initiative to modernize media strategy

Hong Kong's ex-governor to head Vatican media reform

Christopher Patten. File picture: Wikimedia Commons

British politician and Oxford University chancellor Chris Patten is to head up an advisory committee to modernize the Holy See's media strategy for Twitter fan Pope Francis, the Vatican said Wednesday.

Patten, 70, a former Hong Kong governor who also headed up the BBC Trust during a turbulent period, will lead an 11-member committee including experts from France, Germany, Mexico, Singapore and the United States.

The team will have 12 months to prepare a report on adapting the Holy See media to changing trends.

"Building on the recent positive experiences with initiatives such as the Pope App and the Holy Father's Twitter account, digital channels will be strengthened to ensure the Holy Father's messages reach more of the faithful around the world, especially young people," the Vatican said in a statement.

The Vatican's finance minister, Cardinal George Pell, said: "The hope is that in time through natural attrition, re-organization and replacement that there will be significant savings."

Establishment stalwart Patten, a Roman Catholic and life peer in the House of Lords, helped organize Pope Benedict XVI's 2010 trip to Britain.

His previous posts have included chairing an independent commission on policing for Northern Ireland under the Good Friday Agreement and European commissioner for external relations in Brussels.

His team is expected to cut costs and prioritize new media over existing services such as the Vatican Radio, television centre (CTV) and L'Osservatore Romano newspaper. AFP

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