VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The director of the new theological-pastoral department of the Vatican Secretariat for Communications is Natasa Govekar, a theologian who specializes in the communication of faith through images.

The Vatican announced Pope Francis’ nomination of Govekar, a Slovenian, Feb. 9. At the same time, the pope named Francesco Masci, a 37-year-old official at the Vatican Internet Office, to direct the secretariat’s technical office.

The communications secretariat was established by Pope Francis to coordinate and streamline Vatican communications. The organizational structure also is expected to include an editorial department, but that director has yet to be named.


Msgr. Dario Vigano, prefect of the secretariat, issued a statement highlighting the youth of the two appointees as well as the pope’s choice of a woman theologian to handle the theological-pastoral aspect of Vatican communications activities. Govekar, who holds a doctorate in missiology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, is a member of the staff of Rome’s Centro Aletti, a study and research center focused particularly on the art and spirituality of Eastern Christianity.

“The Holy Father appointing a woman as head of the theological-pastoral department is an affirmation that attention to the pastoral is not exclusive to pastors, but involves the practices and ways of being church today,” Msgr. Vigano said. “The church is the gathering of men and women disciples of Jesus Christ. I am certain that in reflecting on the role of communications in the church, she will be of great assistance.”

The secretariat’s responsibility includes coordinating the work of the Vatican website, Vatican Television Center, Vatican Radio, the Vatican newspaper and the Vatican press office.