The Vatican has hired Fox News reporter Greg Burke to serve as its senior communications adviser amidst a widening communications crisis.
Pope Benedict XVI’s butler was arrested late last month on suspicion of leaking confidential documents that allege corruption and exposed papal power struggles to Italian journalists. The Vatican’s bank also faces its own scandal. The bank’s president, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, was dismissed over his erratic behavior and failure to attend board meetings, the New York Times reports. In short, Burke has his work cut out for him.
“I’m a bit nervous but very excited,” he told the Associated Press. “Let’s just say it’s a challenge.”
Burke won’t replace the Vatican’s spokesman, Rev. Federico Lombardi. His role will be to focus on communications “strategy,” he told the Times. Burke turned down the Vatican’s offer twice before accepting the position.
“I am not going to be a power guy,” Burke told the Times. “I’m not going to be making the decisions. But I certainly hope to be sitting at the table when those decisions are made. I have the sense that this is not going to be easy. This is tough stuff.”
Burke is a St. Louis native and member of the conservative Opus Dei movement. He has been with Fox since 2001. Before that, he reported for Time magazine in Rome for a decade, according to the AP.
David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com