Fox newsman hired to advise Holy See on CommunicationsWednesday, June 27th, 2012
The US Fox News network Rome correspondent Greg Burke (pictured) has been named as the new media adviser to the Vatican Secretary of State.
It's an incredible challenge, Greg Burke told CNA when speaking about his appointment.
I feel very fortunate that I've had a lot of real world journalism experience, at a very high level, and I hope I can put that to use for the Vatican.
The newly created position will require Greg Burke to assist the Vatican with communications issues between the Holy See press office, other Vatican communications departments and the Secretariat of State. It will involve working behind the scenes on strategies, on how to formulate a given message, and to get it across.
It has been suggested that the new role became necessary in the wake of recent scandals including child abuse, and the latest Vatileak scandal, triggered by the leak of confidential documents belonging to Benedict XVI.
In an interview with Vatican Insider, Burke is reported as stating that he is, no PR miracle worker, but the fact that this position has been created is a step in the right direction. He expressed the concern that it is a risky job, and his hope that Vatican leaders will listen to him.
Originally from St. Louis, USA, the 52-year-old is a Colombia University journalism graduate, a lay member of Opus Dei, and previously worked as a Rome correspondent for the National Catholic Register.
He said that his work at the Register, writing during the 1980s and early 1990s under former editor-in-chief and friend Francis Maier, was a good preparation for the new job. His work both at the Register and Fox has been praised for improving both the quality and quantity of coverage of the Vatican over the years.
He will start his new role on Monday July 2, having lived in Rome for over two decades.
by Ann Marie Foley