Greg Burke is leaving Fox News to become the senior communications adviser to the Vatican’s secretariat of state. The hope is that an experienced correspondent can help the Vatican avoid the type of media blunders it has suffered through over the last decade.
In a phone interview with the Assoicated Press Burke said of the assignment:
“I’m a bit nervous but very excited. Let’s just say it’s a challenge.”
According to Burke he will be shaping the message of the churches media outreach, making sure everyone remains on topic.
According to Rev. Federico Lombardi the move will give Burke control over integrating communications between the Vatican’s top administrative office and the secretariat of state, while handling relations between the Holy See press office and Vatican communications officers.
Among the Vatican’s biggest plungers since Pope Benedict XVI took over in 2005 has been the leaking of Vatican documents to Italian journalists and the handling of sexual abuse cases.
Speaking of his background in taking on the job Burke noted:
“I’m an old-fashioned Midwestern Catholic whose mother went to Mass every day.”
“Am I being hired because I’m in Opus Dei?” he asked. “It might come into play.”
Interestingly enough the move to hire a news correspondent comes less than a week after the Vatican’s No. 2 Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone accused members of the media of working with satan to take down the church. Apparently Fox News is not under the influence of satan, perhaps Bertone was referring only to liberal agencies.
Interesting side note, Greg Burke had turned down the Vatican’s offer on two separate occasions.