New Vatican communications advisor will “have a seat around the table of people with power”

The Vatican’s recent announcement that American journalist Greg Burke will be taking on the newly-created job of communications advisor to the Holy See’s Secretariat of State has received widespread coverage in the religious and mainstream media, most of it highlighting Burke’s current job as a correspondent for Fox News. Before working at Fox, Burke also served as Time magazine’s Rome correspondent (and eventually its Rome bureau chief) for more than 10 years. In addition to working for UPI and Reuters news services, Burke also reported from Rome for the National Catholic Register, and Edward Pentin, NCR’s current Rome correspondent, has some interesting details about what Burke’s new position at the Holy See will entail:

Father Federico Lombardi will continue in the role of official spokesman for the Holy See, while Burke will be working closely with the Secretariat of State, arguably a more influential position, given that the main decision-making and governing takes place among officials there.

 

More specifically, Burke will be answerable to two superiors: the sostituto, Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu, otherwise known as the Vatican’s “No. 3,” or the deputy secretary of State, whose duty is to supervise the internal affairs of the Roman Curia; and fellow American Msgr. Peter Wells, a native of Tulsa, Okla., who holds the influential position of assessor for general affairs, effectively the deputy to the chief of staff.

 

Father Lombardi described Burke’s position, which has not existed before, as “dealing with communications issues in the work of the Secretariat of State” and overseeing “relations with the Holy See Press Office and other media institutions of the Holy See.”

Burke told Pentin, “I don’t expect to be a person of power, but to have a seat around the table of people with power.”  Read the full article at NCR, here.

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Catherine Harmon is managing editor of Catholic World Report.