Former BBC Chair Chris Patten to Advise Pope on Vatican Media Operations


LONDON – Chris Patten, the former chairman of the BBC Trust, will take on the new role of advising Pope Francis on the Vatican's media operations and how to improve them.

The Vatican confirmed the appointment; in the part-time role, Patten will chair an advisory committee over the next year.

It is expected to provide a report in the summer of 2015. Patten's role is scheduled to start in September.

The Financial Times quoted Patten as saying that the unpaid role was "important and challenging" and would see him focusing on how to further develop the Roman Catholic church's media outlets, which include a newspaper, a TV and radio station and digital media.

He told the paper that he would focus particularly on a digital media strategy and opportunities for the church to reach people beyond practicing Catholics.

Pope Francis has been shaking up the way the Vatican works since becoming Pope last year.

Patten resigned from the BBC Trust in the spring citing health reasons. After heart surgery, he said he has been easing back into work mode, according to the FT.

Patten, 70, is a former governor of Hong Kong.

Twitter: @georgszalai

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