Amid the latest sex scandals to hit the Catholic Church and the resignation of an Argentine bishop, who was caught having romantic relations with a bikini-clad blonde, the Vatican is seeking public relations help.
The Vatican announced
Monday in a statement that it has hired veteran Fox News reporter Greg Burke as senior adviser of communications in Rome. Burke has been based in Rome as a journalist for more than two decades and has worked with Time
magazine and the National Catholic Register
“This new figure will have the task of dealing with communications issues in the work of the secretariat of state and will oversee relations with the Holy See Press Office and other media institutions of the Holy See,” said Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi.
Burke’s new position will oversee how Pope Benedict XVI and his staff project the Catholic Church and to improve the image to the rest of the world. His office will be placed on the third floor of the Apostolic Palace below the Secretariat of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who manages the daily functions of the Vatican.
“It’s going to be challenging and a little scary. This is a huge and important institution with a billion followers,” said Burke, an Opus Dei member, in an interview with the Washington Post
. “I’m not going to be a powerful guy, but I’ll be at the table with people who do have power, and I think my voice will be heard.”
The story first broke when the Associated Press
reported of Burke’s decision, which prompted Fox News
to immediately remove Burke’s profile from the network’s website.