Fr Joe Borg appointed to Vatican study group

Maltese priest appointed to one of 10 study groups the Vatican has set up to examine several issues that emerged from the synod’s first assembly

Fr Joe Borg (Photo: Lino Gatt)
Fr Joe Borg (Photo: Lino Gatt)

Fr Joe Borg is one of eight international media experts appointed by the Vatican to study the Catholic church’s mission in a digital environment.

The Maltese priest, who until a few years ago headed the Maltese church’s media arm, was appointed to one of 10 study group set up in the wake of last October’s Synod.

One of the 20 chapters in the synod’s synthesis document released last year was dedicated to the church’s mission in the digital environment. It proposed the creation of collaborative networks of digital missionaries.

Subsequently, last month Pope Francis decided that some of the most controversial issues raised at the first assembly of the Synod of Bishops will be examined by study groups. These include issues such as women deacons, the involvement of laypeople in the choice of bishops and a greater acceptance of LGBTQ+ Catholics.

These groups are expected to present preliminary reports by October during the synod’s second assembly that will be held in Rome and are expected to finalise their work by June 2025.

The groups are coordinated by different offices of the Roman Curia. In a letter to Cardinal Mario Grech, secretary general of the synod, Pope Francis said the 10 study areas he chose were important for the church and required in-depth analysis to help inform decisions taken by the synod.

The study group to which Fr Borg was appointed is being coordinated by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication headed by Mgr Lucio Ruiz.

Fr Borg has been active in the media for almost 50 years and was responsible for the local church’s media policy document The Digital Face of the Lord.

He also chaired the Public Broadcasting Services editorial board and headed the University of Malta’s Campus FM radio station.

Fr Borg is currently a visiting senior lecturer at UOM’s Faculty for Media and Knowledge Sciences and chairs the Richmond Foundation, an NGO active in the mental health sector.