(Vatican Radio) Father Federico Lombardi is to bid farewell to Vatican Radio at the end of the month.
Father Federico Lombardi SJ will leave “the Pope’s Radio” after 26 years of extraordinary service, initially as Director of Programmes, and since 2005, as General Director.
He will continue to serve as Director of the Press Office of the Holy See.
This is not the only change Vatican Radio is facing at this time in history following the implementation of a major overhaul of the Vatican’s media sector, as signaled by Pope Francis last June when he established the Secretariat for Communications.
Another figure of reference due to leave Vatican Radio on February 29 is Alberto Gasbarri, Director of Administration.
Gasbarri, however, is perhaps best-known to the general public for having been the organizer and coordinator of Papal journeys for the last four decades.
Meanwhile, announcing that neither Lombardi nor Gasbarri will be replaced, Monsignor Dario Edoardo Viganò, Head of the Vatican Secretariat for Communications has appointed civil lawyer Giacomo Ghisani as Vatican Radio’s “ad interim” Legal Representative and Director of Administration.
Ghisani, who serves as Head of Vatican Radio’s International Relations and Legal Affairs, is Vice-Director of the Secretariat of Communications.
Ghisani’s appointment, Mons. Vigano’ says in a communiqué, is to ensure “the Radio’s ordinary administration within the current context of review and restructuring of the Vatican’s media operations”.
The communiqué informs that the process of unification of Vatican media, in line with Pope Francis’ “Motu proprio” that established the Secretariat of Communications on 27 June 2015, continues.
The “Motu proprio” determined that all Vatican media be consolidated in a new Dicastery.
The media operations in question are the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, the Holy See Press Office, the Vatican Internet Service, Vatican Radio, the Vatican Television Centre, the “Osservatore Romano”, the Vatican Typography, the Photographic Service, and the Vatican Publishing House.
It points out that the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and the Holy See Press Office are already unified from an administrative and managerial point of view.
It also notes that Vatican Radio and the Vatican Television Centre (CTV) are in practice partially unified and already share resources and provide services together.
It is within this context – the communiqué specifies – that having both Father Federico Lombardi and Alberto Gasbarri come to the end of their mandates they will not be replaced by “similar managerial figures”.
The communiqué also states that “the work ahead gives us a wonderful occasion to enhance and give value to areas of excellence as well as to the heritage provided by the multi-linguistic and multi-cultural” realities of the media operations in question.
Regarding Vatican Radio, the communiqué says that the current Director of Programmes, Father Andrzej Majewski SJ, will continue to provide a point of reference for editorial and journalistic work and Sandro Piervenanzi will continue to oversee the technological aspects of the Radio.