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The Pope's next social media move? An ex Tory MP and an Irish priest will be advising him

Monsignor Paul Tighe and Chris Patten will be part of an 11 person team tasked with modernising Pope Francis’s media strategy.

Image: Alessandra Tarantino/AP/Press Association Images

AN IRISH PRIEST HAS been appointed to an 11-person panel tasked with modernising the Holy See’s media strategy for Twitter fan Pope Francis.

Monsignor Paul Tighe, currently Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communication, will join experts from France, Germany, Singapore and the United States on the committee — which will be headed by British politician and Oxford University chancellor Chris Patten.

Tighe, who was ordained a priest in 1983, served as a parish chaplain and teacher in Ballyfermot and a lecturer in moral theology at the Mater Dei Institute in Dublin before taking up a role as head of the Communications Office of the Dublin Diocese. He has served in his current Vatican-based role since 2007.

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-organisation and replacement that there will be significant savings.

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

The 70-year-old former Hong Kong governor also headed up the BBC Trust during a turbulent period. His previous posts have included chairing an independent commission on policing for Northern Ireland under the Good Friday Agreement.

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

Includes reporting from AFP.

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