Pope Benedict XVI Hires Fox News Correspondent To Beef Up PR Wing

The Vatican announced this week that its public relations department will be getting a little bit of a boost from Fox News. Greg Burke, a Fox News correspondent offered the job twice before, will be leaving Fox to help Pope Benedict XVI and his team come up with a better communications policy to improve the image of the church around the world.

According to the AP, Burke has been Fox News’ Rome correspondent since 2001, and been in the Italian capital long before. The Vatican, the report notes, is trying “to cope with years of communications blunders and one of its most serious scandals in decades,” as Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi explained. The report also lists a number of recent PR problems that have plagued the Vatican:

The Vatican has been bedeviled by communications blunders ever since Pope Benedict XVI’s 2005 election, and is currently dealing with a scandal over Vatican documents that were leaked to Italian journalists. While the scandal is serious — Benedict himself convened a special meeting of cardinals Saturday to try to cope with it — the Vatican’s communications problems long predate it.

Benedict’s now-infamous speech about Muslims and violence, his 2009 decision to rehabilitate a schismatic bishop who denied the Holocaust, and the Vatican’s response to the 2010 explosion of the sex abuse scandal are just a few of the blunders that have tarnished Benedict’s papacy.

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