Part of his job, however, will be "making sure that everybody
inside the Vatican remains on message" -- no easy task when some
close to the pope are leaking documents which undermine the
Church and its spiritual leader.
As far as Politi is concerned, "once more the Vatican is
confusing problems of substance with problems of communication.
"The documents published have shed light on concrete conflicts
over the management of the Curia by the Secretary of State
Bertone," he said.
"Members of the public right now don't want to know if there is a
communication strategy at the Vatican, but if the Vatican bank is
using transparency measures or not."
Burke, a seasoned journalist who is officially taking up the post
in July, says he will help coordinate strategy by integrating
communications issues into the Vatican's state secretariat and
working with the tiny state's press office.
He said his role will be similar to "that of White House
communications advisers," while the Vatican spokesman Federico
Lombardi will stay on.
"It took me a while to find the courage to say yes. It's a
challenge. I knew I was taking a big risk but I decided, in the
end, to take it," he said.