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Fox News Correspondent Hired by Vatican as Media Consultant

Fox Correspondent Greg Burke - H 2012
ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images

Amid an embarrassing leaks scandal, the Holy See seeks image rehabilitation through the help of an American journalist.

in the wake of an ongoing VatiLeaks scandal that has deeply embarrassed the papacy, the Vatican has taken unprecented measures: They've hired a Fox News correspondent to help them with media relations.

Greg Burke, 52, has left his post as Fox News's Rome correspondent, a position he's held since 2001, to "help improve and coordinate the Vatican's various communications," according to a Vatican official quoted in The New York Times.

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Burke's hiring marks the first time someone outside the Roman Catholic church's own media circles has held such a position. As senior communications adviser to the Holy See, Burke will work behind-the-scenes to help keep the Vatican "on-message" as it tries to maneuver itself out of the public relations mess that has recently seen the Pope's own butler arrested under suspicion of leaking private Vatican documents to the media.

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Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Burke is a practicing Catholic and a member of Opus Dei, the Catholic institution portrayed as a secretive society in The Da Vinci Code. Burke moved to Rome in 1988 to work as a correspondent for the National Catholic Register. From there he moved to Time magazine as its Rome bureau chief, and eventually took a job as Fox News' European and Middle East on-aire correspondent. 

The hire will not replace the Rev. Federico Lombardi, who will continue in his role as official Vatican spokesman.