John Allen, the distinguished journalist who has covered the Vatican for the National Catholic Reporter, will be leaving his post at the weekly publication, to take up a new post with the Boston Globe.

Allen will join the Globe in February as a correspondent and the new role will involve the creation of a new publication devoted to Catholic issues and published by the secular newspaper.

Globe editor Brian McGrory said that the veteran journalist would be serving the Boston daily as an analyst covering Catholic affairs.

“There is a resurgence of global interest in the Catholic Church, inspired by the words and deeds of the newly-installed leader, Pope Francis. There’s nobody in the nation better suited.

“John is basically the reporter that bishops and cardinals call to find out what’s going on within the confines of the Vatican. His inexhaustible energy, supported by extraordinary insights, is legendary.”

However, the Globe editor added: "He will also help us explore the very real possibility of launching a free-standing publication devoted to Catholicism, drawing in other correspondents and leading voices from near and far.

Allen, who has emerged as the foremost Vatican journalist in the English-speaking world, has written several popular books and served as an analyst for CNN along with providing regular coverage for the National Catholic Reporter.