The announcement appeared today:
The Holy Father has appointed as Consulters of the Secretariat for Communication the Rev. Fr. Ivan Maffeis, under-secretary for the Italian Episcopal Conference; Fr. José María La Porte, dean of the Faculty of Institutional Social Communication of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross; Dr. Peter Gonsalves, S.D.B., dean of the Faculty of Social Communication Sciences of the Pontifical Salesian University; Fr. Eric Salobir, O.P., Promoter General for social communications for the Order of Preachers; Fr. James Martin, S.J., Jesuit Magazine America; Fr. Jacquineau Azétsop, S.J., dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Pontifical Gregorian University; and Dr. Paolo Peverini, lecturer in Semiotics at the LUISS “Guido Carli”; Dr. Fernando Giménez Barriocanal, president and delegator advisor of Radio Popolar Cadena COPE; Dr. Ann Carter, Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications; Mr. Graham Ellis, deputy director of BBC Radio; Dr. Michael P. Warsaw, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of EWTN Global Catholic Network; Dr. Dino Cataldo Dell’Accio, Chief ICT Auditor at the United Nations; and Dr. Michael Paul Unland, executive director of the Catholic Media Council (CA.ME.CO.).
Pope Francis named six priests, six laymen and one laywoman to be the new consultors or advisers to the communications body, which is led by Msgr. Dario Vigano and coordinates the Vatican’s diverse communications and media operations. The consultors are an advisory group separate from the secretariat members — a group of 16 cardinals, bishops and laypeople the pope named last year.
While it’s unclear what, exactly, this panel will be doing, I imagine it’s somewhat similar to what I did with the USCCB a few years ago, when I was a consultant to the bishops’ Communications Committee. We were involved in annual meetings, discussions, brainstorming, listening to presentations about media-related topics of interest to the bishops.
Asked for reaction, Fr. James Martin emailed me this response this morning: “I’m very happy to serve the church in this new way.”