Johan Allen skriver at pave Frans slo tre fluer i ett smekk da han utnevnte den amerikanske legmannen (og medlem av Opus Dei) Greg Burke til ny leder av Vatikanets pressekontor, etetr p. Federico Lombardis, SJ:
… First, he’s helped lay to rest perceptions that he’s anti-American. It’s well known that Francis had never traveled to the United States before his papal voyage in September 2015, that much of the most strident criticism he’s drawn since his election has come from American circles, and that his comfort zone is mostly defined by Spanish and Italian-speakers.
Up to this point, Francis had not turned to an American for a single truly significant Vatican post, and the longer that drought went on, the more pronounced impressions would have become that the pontiff had imposed a “no American need apply” policy.
A native of St. Louis (and a lifetime Cardinals fan), Burke is as American as they come. Granted, he’s spent much of his adult life in Rome, he speaks multiple languages, he’s traveled widely and is a citizen of the world, but his personality and outlook are still quintessentially American. By naming Burke to one of the most visible Vatican positions of all, Francis effectively has inoculated himself against impressions that Americans don’t have a significant place in his Church.
Second, Francis has also demonstrated that subject-matter competence is important in making important Vatican personnel choices. Burke came to Rome as a journalist working for Catholic news outlets, which gave him a deep understanding of the story. Because he was exceptionally talented, however, he quickly transitioned to the big leagues, first to Time magazine and then to Fox News.
That background means Burke has an insider’s understanding of the dynamics of the news business, and he speaks the language of professional journalists. Burke was hired by the Secretariat of State in 2012, and took over as the number two official as the Vatican Press Office in February. At the senior levels of the Vatican today, there’s simply no one better positioned to engage the media.
A similar observation could be made about Garcia, by the way, a veteran journalist who’s well-liked and well-respected in the Vatican press corps, and who brings enormous good will to the post. In that sense, Francis will get credit for naming the right people to the jobs.
Third, Burke is a member of Opus Dei – in their parlance, a “numerary,” meaning a lay person who nevertheless is celibate – which is a Catholic group typically seen as fairly conservative. By conventional standards, Burke’s personal politics (which, by the way, have never interfered with his job) could probably best be described as center-right. At a time when some see Pope Francis as a liberal stacking the deck with like-minded progressives, this appointment runs counter to the stereotypes and invites observers to consider whether for Francis, it’s ultimately more the quality of the individual than their ideology that actually matters. …