The Vatican has been scrambling to contain the damage after the leak of hundreds of Vatican documents exposed corruption, political infighting and power struggles at the highest level of the Catholic Church. The pope’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, is under arrest at the Vatican, accused of aggravated theft after the pope’s own documents were found in his Vatican City apartment.
One Holy See investigation into the links is a criminal one headed by Vatican gendarmes; there is also an internal probe led by a commission of three cardinals tasked with getting to the bottom of the scandal.
Last weekend Benedict met with the cardinal’s commission to learn details of some of the two dozen people they have questioned.
So when you're a conservative Pope and you need to craft a conservative message and spin a disaster away, who do you call? What do you do, hot shot?
You hire the Vatican correspondent for FOX News as your new media guru, of course.
Greg Burke, 52, will leave Fox to become the senior communications adviser in the Vatican's secretariat of state, the Vatican and Burke told The Associated Press.
"I'm a bit nervous but very excited. Let's just say it's a challenge," Burke said in a phone interview.
He defined his job, which he said he had been offered twice before, as being along the lines of the White House senior communications adviser: "You're shaping the message, you're molding the message, and you're trying to make sure everyone remains on-message. And that's tough."
Burke, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, is a member of the conservative Opus Dei movement. Pope John Paul II's longtime spokesman, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, was also a member of Opus Dei and was known for the papal access he enjoyed and his ability to craft the messages John Paul wanted to get out.
After Pope Benedict XVI was elected in 2005, Navarro-Valls was replaced by the Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Jesuit who had long headed Vatican Radio and still does, along with running the Vatican press office and Vatican television service.
Dr. Navarro-Valls has degrees in both medicine and journalism and speaks four languages. Rev. Lombardi is a trained Jesuit priest who also speaks 4 languages and can read and understand two more. Greg Burke's qualifications on the other hand is that he's a member of Opus Dei and works for FOX News.
You can't make this up, folks. And he's apparently been offered the job a couple of times before. We Issue Papal Bulls, You Decide.