Vatican Hires Fox News Correspondent

Guardian - Greenslade Blog
June 26, 2012

Would you believe it? The Vatican has hired a Fox News journalist to be its senior communications adviser.

Greg Burke, the News Corp channel's Rome correspondent, has covered the Vatican for Fox since 2001. He is a member of the conservative Opus Dei movement.

He becomes the Vatican's first communications expert hired from outside the insular world of the Roman Catholic news media. He is not replacing the current spokesman, Federico Lombardi, but will advise officials on how to shape their message.

Some Vatican observers regard the move as a power play by media-savvy Americans including Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York and the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops inside a Vatican hierarchy that is run by Italians.

The Vatican is dealing with a growing investigation that has led to the arrest of the Pope Benedict's butler in connection with the leaking of private documents.

The Vatican's secretive bank remains embroiled in controversy over whether it can meet international transparency standards. Then there is the ongoing crisis in various countries over sexual abuse by priests.

Burke is a numerary in Opus Dei, which means, he said, that he is celibate and gives most of his income to the movement.


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