It’s the guy on the left (seen here last summer in Buffalo).
While this week before Christmas has seen two Stateside nods slip under the door, the Pope’s saved the best present for last: at Roman Noon this Saturday, word came that Francis had appointed Msgr Paul Tighe, 57 (left) – the Dublin-bred #2 at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications since 2007 – to the new post of adjunct secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture, elevating him to the episcopacy in the process as titular bishop of Drivasto. For starters, the move comes as a surprise, arriving in the face of widely-held expectations (his own included) that – with the Vatican’s communications entities now being consolidated into a single Secretariat led by three Italians and, for “balance,” an Argentine – Tighe would be heading back to Ireland. Most of all, however, given the bishop-elect’s longstanding role as the key figure relentlessly guiding the Holy See’s sometimes turbulent embrace of and adaptation to a “new media” world, that he’s sticking around instead (and with a hat, to boot) has the feeling of a watershed moment. In any event, if you’re trying to reform a culture – or advance a new one – the quietly warm and driven nominee is the kind of guy you’d want to have around.
Congratulations, Bishop-elect Tighe! Ad multos annos!