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US journalist to help scandal-hit Vatican clean up its image

  • 25 Jun 2012
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ROME (AFP)
US Fox News journalist Greg Burke

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.

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