A Fox News Reporter Is the Vatican’s New Recruit

Can a U.S. journalist help the Vatican get its message out?

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Greg Burke is leaving Fox News to join the Vatican's communications operation

The Vatican has a new recruit. Greg Burke, a Rome correspondent for Fox News since 2001 (and before that, a writer for TIME), will be joining the Vatican as a senior communications adviser. His main responsibility at the Secretariat of State, the government of the Roman Catholic Church, is to advise officials on shaping the church’s message as it grapples with various scandals, including a long string of sex-abuse cover-ups and the arrest of the Pope’s butler over leaked documents. Burke is also expected to increase the Vatican’s use of digital media and help English-language news outlets get greater access to the Holy See, reports NPR.

(MORE: The Vatican Scandals: What Did the Pope’s Butler Know?)

The 52-year-old journalist is the first communications expert that the Vatican has employed from outside the world of Catholic media, reports the New York Times. Observers of the Catholic Church point out that Burke, a member of the Opus Dei movement, has his work cut out for him. Not only does he have to help the church get its message out but he also has to deal with the rigid Vatican hierarchy run by Italians.

“I’m a bit nervous but very excited. Let’s just say it’s a challenge,” Burke said to the Associated Press. “You’re shaping the message, you’re molding the message, and you’re trying to make sure everyone remains on message. And that’s tough.”

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