Vatican Secretariat of State creates new “Director of Communications” position and fills it with American Greg Burke

Okay, cat’s outta da bag.

Vatican Insider finally has it. I’ve know about this for a while, but didn’t want to say anything about it.

It seems that my friend in Greg Burke, formerly a Fox News correspondent in Rome, will have a position in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State as a new “director of communications”, much as Toby’s role in the show The West Wing (surely with a better outcome for Greg).  This is a new position for the Holy See and realllllly overdue.

Greg Burke, giornalista di Fox News per anni corrispondente dal Vaticano di Time Magazine, assumerà un ruolo di primo piano nella comunicazione della Santa Sede

REDAZIONE
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“Greg Burke assumerà presto servizio nell’ambito della Segreteria di Stato come advisor per la comunicazione”. Lo ha confermato il direttore della sala stampa Vaticana, padre Federico Lombardi, aggiungendo che “questa nuova figura avrà la finalità di contribuire ad integrare l’attenzione alle questioni della comunicazione nel lavoro della Segreteria di Stato e a curare il rapporto con il servizio della sala stampa e delle altre istituzioni comunicative della Santa Sede“.

Quello che Burke assumerà entro breve tempo è un ruolo nuovo per l’amministrazione vaticana, e ricalca quello del direttore della strategia comunicativa che c’é invece presso la Casa Bianca.

Burke lavorerà, con un ufficio all’interno della Segreteria di Stato e in stretto coordinamento con il direttore della sala stampa Vaticana, padre Federico Lombardi.

Greg Burke, che è membro dell’Opus Dei, è stato per anni corrispondente dal Vaticano di Time Magazine. La proposta di assumere questo nuovo incarico, ha raccontato all’ANSA, lo ha raggiunto per via telefonica a New York alla fine di maggio e in primo tempo la sua risposta era stata negativa. Successivamente ha invece deciso di accettare l’incarico.

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26 Responses to Vatican Secretariat of State creates new “Director of Communications” position and fills it with American Greg Burke

  1. Matt R says:

    This is good news. But why was another Catholic blogger so opposed to Burke filling the post?

  2. Bea says:

    Member of Opus Dei
    worked with Fox News
    Great News indeed.
    I wonder why he first turned it down at the end of May?
    But I’m glad he reconsidered and accepted it.

    Hmmmm Matt R:
    Could that other Catholic blogger be afraid of Truth?
    If he worked with Fox , I’m sure he’ll go after the truth in the news.

  3. acardnal says:

    Of course, let us not forget that Blessed JPII’s Press Officer was a member of Opus Dei, too.
    Joaquin Navarro-Valls, M.D.

  4. Geoffrey says:

    If he worked for Fox News, I hope we won’t be seeing American flags all over CTV programs!

  5. Matt R says:

    No, he’s pretty orthodox. Perhaps it’s something to do w/ Burke and the way the blogger sees Burke doing his job…

  6. Diane at Te Deum Laudamus says:

    Dear Greg – May God bless your work! The left will pitch out all kinds of conspiracy theories. Just know the spirit has come to rest on you!

    Here’s the AP story with some decent background (that is, for those who don’t read Italian).

    http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-06-23/apnewsbreak-vatican-gets-fox-media-adviser

  7. I had a number of meals with Greg high atop San Calisto in Rome in the 1990s.

    Greg is smart. And he’s got integrity, honesty, devotion to the See of Peter. He knows he the Holy Father’s direct mandate. Greg owes nothing to anyone. Hah!

    When I think of some of the toadies he will have to deal with… I laugh out loud. He will have them for breakfast, and move on to doing the work of the Church.

    Very happy about this. LOL. Hah!

  8. acardnal says:

    I just read the Business Week article above and think I would have written below sentence a little differently to avoid any confusion:
    “Currently, for example, the cardinal who is heading the Vatican’s internal investigation into the leaks of documents is the Opus Dei prelate, Cardinal Julian Herranz.”

    For clarity, Cardinal Herranz is a prelate in the Catholic Church, and he is a member of Opus Dei but he is not the Prelate of Opus Dei. That position belongs to Bishop Javier Echevarría Rodríguez.

  9. Sounds great. I may be wrong, but I think for something like this, you need an American. I’ve been thinking for awhile that the Vatican could use with a few more Americans in key positions, making things happen.

  10. acardnal says:

    They definitely need an IT person in there to revamp their website!!

  11. Elizium23 says:

    I heard that Burke is a Brother Knight of Columbus, but all the news releases are making a big deal out of his Opus Dei membership. Can anyone confirm or deny KofC affiliation?

    [Yes, and he has contributed articles to the KofC periodical.]

  12. Matt R says:

    I doubt the media even knew that Opus Dei existed until The Da Vinci Code came out. And they don’t care what it is or how it works; they insist Santorum belongs, even though, by his own word he doesn’t, and they don’t understand what being involved in Opus Dei entails anyways.

  13. John Nelson says:

    Any relation to the former Archbishop of St. Louis, now Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura?

  14. Andrew says:

    Ah Fr Martin, I trust you are not an Americanist. That is a different thing from being an American.

  15. Of course, there are very many things happening in America right now that might well have very serious consequences right around the world. It helps to have someone who is extremely knowledgable about such things in place. It also helps to have a layman for a variety of reasons.

  16. HighMass says:

    Go Greg,

    Turn all this negative media coverage on His Holiness around. The Holy Father hasn’t been given a fair chance since he stepped out on the loggia in 2005 as P. Benedict xvi….He deserves to be respected and Loved, (as He is by alot of us).

    Get the secular media off his back

    Viva Il Papa

  17. mila48 says:

    I have known Greg for close to 30 years and this is great news, indeed. If there is a post that can benefit from his expertise, it’s this one. But he will need lots of prayers.

    [That’s for sure!]

  18. [QUESTION FOR THE READERS]

    Do any of you know of books or articles about the position of the White House Director of Communications?

  19. I looked at the Wikipedia article about the White House DofC. It seems that the position often goes to a person who worked in a high position in a presidential campaign. The DofC’s office is separate from the Press Office.

    Also:

    As the President’s voice and vision must be clear, the Communications Director ensures that all aspects of communications are covered to ensure that the administration’s message has been delivered successfully. A communications strategy must be devised to promote the President’s agenda throughout all media outlets. This can include, but certainly are not limited to, the State of the Union address, televised press conferences, statements to the press, and radio addresses. The communications office also works closely with cabinet level departments and other executive agencies in order to create a coherent strategy through which the President’s message can be disseminated.
    With the growing importance of the Internet and New Media in terms of Presidential communication, the Office of Communications is having to branch out, and this have been given an added impetus by the election of Barack Obama who made large use of the internet, and more specifically social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to reach out to his supporters in order to solicit donations and spread his campaign message.

    Key Staff

    Assistant to the President for Communications and White House Communications Director:
    Special Consultant to the President for Media Affairs:
    Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Communications:
    Assistant to the President and Director of Speechwriting:
    Director of New Media:
    Director of Media Affairs:
    Director of Broadcast Media:
    Director of Specialty Media:
    Director of Hispanic Media:
    Director of Citizen Participation:
    Director of African American Media:

    The Holy See’s Office of the DofC would have a more complicated brief.

  20. Johnno says:

    This was long needed. The Archidiocese of Toronto began such an initiative with their Office of Public Media Relations, perhaps the first in the Catholic World to do so, basically having trained media people be there at every major event through whom the media must go by and to be present at interviews etc. to properly explain everything to the dense media and to help facilitate filming and other things during mass or around a Church etc that won’t disturb it and help non-Catholics know what the heck is going on. It’s also their job to take messages sent by Rome etc and filter it down to something the general media can properly understand in context.

  21. philothea.distracted says:

    Yeah! I’ve been of fan of his on Fox. I’m glad to hear this and will pray for him!

  22. acardnal says:

    Below from http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop

    Office of Communications
    – Office of the Press Secretary
    -Media Affairs
    -Research
    -Speechwriting

  23. bookworm says:

    “Any relation to the former Archbishop of St. Louis, now Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura?”
    No relation (as far as I know), but he is FROM St. Louis:
    http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/faith-and-values/religion/ex-st-louisan-named-vatican-communications-adviser/article_670f127e-bd80-11e1-92a9-0019bb30f31a.html

  24. acardnal says:

    I don’t recall any books by former any WH Dir. of Communications but several Press Secretaries have written books, e.g. Dee Dee Myers, Ari Fleischer, Scott McClellan.

  25. Peggy R says:

    Yes, no relation to Card Burke, but a local. Tim Townsend, good StL religion reporter interviewed him from Afghanistan. Posted today at STL Post-Dispatch.

    http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/faith-and-values/st-louisan-to-guide-vatican-message/article_02544a1f-493b-53a9-91a9-baadc629059a.html

    Some local pride here!

    …And Go Cards!