Former Fox News journo to head Vatican press office

Pope Francis has named a former Fox News correspondent as the head of the Vatican press office.

Greg Burke, an American, succeeds Italian Fr Federico Lombardi, SJ, who is retiring after 10 years in the position.

Mr Burke is a numerary member of Opus Dei.

He served as special communications adviser in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, starting in 2012.

In December, 2015, Pope Francis appointed him the vice director of the press office.

A graduate of Columbia University’s school of journalism, Mr Burke spent 24 of the past 28 years as a Rome-based journalist.

This was with the National Catholic Register, Time magazine and the Fox News network.

Spanish journalist Paloma Garcia Ovejero fills in Mr Burke’s spot as vice director at the Vatican press office.

She is the first female to hold that position.

Mr Burke that in choosing an American and a Spanish journalist, the Pope has made “an important sign of internationalisation” in order to reach out to Catholics across the globe.

Ms Garcia Ovejero, who studied journalism in Spain and earned a masters degree in Management Strategies and Communications at New York University, worked as the Italy and Vatican correspondent for Spanish radio broadcaster Cadena COPE.

“For me it’s an honour, it’s a service and it’s another way of serving the Church,” she said.

“But it is the same Church and, in some way, the same type of work: to proclaim the good news and to transmit faithfully and with dignity the Pope’s message,” Ms Garcia Ovejero said.

She downplayed her role as the first female vice director of the press office.

She said saying that the first women who served the Church “were the ones who found the empty tomb and proclaimed the Resurrection to the apostles”.

“I am in no way the first woman. The first woman above all in the Church, in the Vatican and in the press office is the Virgin Mary,” she said.


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