Former Fox News correspondent Greg Burke, a native of St. Louis, has been tapped as the Vatican’s official spokesperson, easily the most visible job at the Holy See after the pope. As the first American to hold this position of power, Burke will have a direct line to Pope Francis, parsing the pope’s words and managing the local press corps, a group he knows well after more than 20 years in Rome, mostly as one of them. Burke, 56, is a devout member of the conservative Catholic group Opus Dei and an avid baseball fan. Spanish journalist Paloma García Ovejero, 40, has been named Burke’s deputy director. She is the first-ever female to be named to such a high-ranking position in the Vatican. Burke succeeds Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, who, at 73, is retiring from the position he has held since John Paul II died in 2005.
—Barbie Latza Nadeau