It seems the Prada'd One has decided to reach out to the modern media mogul world in an attempt to re-brand the public image.
In an effort to shore up its communications strategy amid a widening leaks scandal in a troubled papacy, the Vatican has hired the Fox News correspondent in Rome as a senior communications adviser.We have to admit this caught us by surprise because we didn't even know Bill O'Reilly was looking for another job.
The correspondent, Greg Burke, 52, who has covered the Vatican for Fox since 2001. Mr. Burke is a member of the conservative Opus Dei movement, and his hiring underscores the group’s role in the Vatican.Oh. Well, that makes sense, we guess. After all, falafel is probably not on the menu at the vatican commissary. Plus Billy has a bit of a temper, and if he were ever to go off on Consigliori of State Tarcisio (The Red Hammer) Bertone and called him a pinhead, well, how do you say "sleeps with the fishes" in Latin? And for those of you keeping score at home, Opus Dei is Latin for SchutzStaffel so expect big improvements in message discipline.
Some Vatican watchers called the move a power play by media-savvy Americans — including Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, the archbishop of New York and the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops — inside a Vatican hierarchy run by Italians.Power play? That can't be good. Just ask the Strangio-Nirta and Pelle-Vottari-Romeo families. Or maybe Al Capone and Bugs Moran. Well, come to think of it, St. Valentine is a catholic icon after all.
In a telephone interview on Sunday, Mr. Burke, the Vatican’s first communications expert hired from outside the insular world of the Roman Catholic news media, said that he would not replace the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, but would advise officials on how to shape their message."Yeah, that Frederico, he's still gonna be the Button man," Burke continued. "But if you wanna speak to the Capo, you come see me."
“If you look at what the White House has, every Jamook knows who the spokesman is, no one knows who the Wise Guys are,” Mr. Burke said. “It’s a very similar job. It’s a strategy job. It’s very simple to explain, not so easy to execute: to formulate the message and try to make sure everyone stays Omertá. Oh, and just so you mortadellas don't misunderstand, I use the word 'execute' on purpose.”
That is a tall order. Vatican experts say that the institution is suffering from a deep crisis of leadership more than of communications. Pope Benedict XVI is seen as a Mustache Pete with little interest or skill in governing, and his deputies have been mired in infighting. "That Bene, he's mezza morta anyway, know what I mean?" Burke said. "He's just wearing it, but that Dolan guy, he's a friend of ours."
Our advice? Don't be late with your Sunday offering.