PopeWatch: Well, Bye

Two new job openings at the Vatican:


Things started going downhill for Pope Francis this year on a plane returning from a trip to Chile. In a demonstration of remarkable tone deafness to the issue of clerical sex abuse — and to the media environment in which he operates — the pope doubled down on accusations of calumny against survivors of clerical sexual abuse.

Standing next to the pontiff as he spoke that day in January 2018 was Greg Burke, the Vatican communications director, whose counsel he had not solicited before speaking. In fact, Mr. Burke, an American, rarely had significant access to the pontiff, who keeps a small circle of special advisers, or to the Vatican power players who often kept the press office out of decisions critical to the pope’s message and agenda.

On Monday, amid tumult in a Vatican communications department undergoing an overhaul and ahead of a critical February meeting on clerical sex abuse, Mr. Burke and his deputy, Paloma García Ovejero, abruptly quit.

Their supporters said they had grown frustrated with years of seeking, and failing, to modernize the Vatican’s rickety and anachronistic communications department and to convince the pope and his top lieutenants that in an age defined by media, communications could not be an afterthought.

Go here to read the rest.  Imagine getting up each morning knowing that your job is to explain this Pope to the world.

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  1. I find it significant that this piece follows directly the examination of Mr. Trump’s understanding of Afghanistan.

    How far we have come since Ronald Reagan and John-Paul II.

  2. “…Vatican’s rickety and anachronistic communications department…”
    Oh my how this comes in handy so many times…

  3. I’m surprised Greg Burke took the job to begin with. He had to know trying to defend this pope wasn’t going to help his own credibility.

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