Father James Martin, America Magazine‘s editor-at-large, has been appointed by Pope Francis as a consultant to the Vatican’s department for communications — a job that includes manning the Vatican radio, website, tv, and popular papal twitter handle. Father Martin is a controversial figure in the American Church, often expressing strong liberal views on his public social media accounts (even when they contradict Church teaching).
The pope created the new secretariat on June 27, 2015, which consolidated all existing Vatican communications offices and operations under one department. Msgr. Dario Edoardo Viganò, formerly the director of the Vatican Television Center, was made its first director.
“I’m very happy to serve the church in this new way,” Father Martin said upon learning of the appointment.
“I learned of the news early this morning, when Josh McElwee of The National Catholic Reporter and Cindy Wooden of Catholic News Service contacted me via Twitter to congratulate me. And given the importance of social media in the church today, that’s a good way to find out good news.”
The secretariat is responsible for Vatican Radio and the Vatican Television Centre as well as the Holy See’s website and the pope’s Twitter handle, @Pontifex.