Date
17 August 2017
Former Hong Kong governor Chris Patten will head a media advisory group to the Vatican. Photo: AFP
Former Hong Kong governor Chris Patten will head a media advisory group to the Vatican. Photo: AFP

Patten to head papal media advice team

Just two months after he announced he was stepping down as chairman of the BBC Trust on health grounds, former Hong Kong governor Chris Patten is taking on another senior media job — this time closer than most Catholic mortals ever get to the top.

Patten will head an 11-member committee advising Pope Francis on overhauling the Holy See’s media strategy, Reuters reported Wednesday, citing the Vatican.

The committee will come up with suggestions over the next year to make the Vatican more up to date with communications trends, improve coordination among departments and cut costs, the report said.

The Vatican has six separate communications departments which have at times appeared to be in competition with each other, the report said.

In response to a central government white paper calling on Hong Kong judges to be patriotic, Patten over the weekend told the Financial Times that judges are independent under Hong Kong law.

“There shouldn’t be any question of [judges] being instructed or pressed to subordinate their views of due process and what is legal to some other political considerations,” Patten was quoted as saying.

 

But a spokesman from the Office of Commissioner of the Foreign Ministry in Hong Kong said China will “resolutely” oppose any intervention by external forces in the city’s internal affairs.

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