DUBLIN: The editor of religious programmes at Ireland's state TV station Radio Telefis Eireann (RTE) is to join the Pope's team of media and communications advisers.
Father Dermot McCarthy joins the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Social Communications, headquartered in Rome.
He will hold the post for the next five years, but will continue in his role at RTE based in Dublin.
The Council, which currently consists of around 20 advisers from around the world, is tasked with providing the Pope with advice on communications, media relations and evangelisation.
McCarthy said on his appointment: 'It doesn't mean I will be changing my job at RTE, but it is a real honour and a reflection on the support that RTE gives to religious programmes.'
As part of the Council, his task will be to look at how to best use the media to communicate issues.
'The remit embraces broadcasting and the internet and the general policy in relation to how the internet is used,' said McCarthy.
'We all see the huge advantages of the internet, but many parents around the world are concerned about what their children can freely access on the internet. That's something that has to be looked at and see how we can focus attention on that issue using communications.'
He added: 'We will also look at how the media is used throughout the world to spread the message of Christ.'
His first meeting with the Council is scheduled for next month.
McCarthy started at RTE in 1965. Last year he was presented with a lifetime achievement award by the Irish Churches Council for Television and Radio Affairs.
RTE has provided a radio service since 1926 and TV service since 1961.
It broadcasts on five radio and two TV channels, covering music, news, sport, culture, arts and religion.
Bob Collins is the current RTE director general, who chairs the eight-strong executive board.