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Vatican spokesman and his deputy both QUIT weeks after Pope appointed friend as ‘editorial director’

Vatican spokesman and his deputy both QUIT – just weeks after Pope appointed his close friend as ‘editorial director’

  • American Greg Burke and his deputy, Spaniard Paloma Garcia Ovejero, have quit
  • Communications official, Alessandro Gisotti, named as an interim replacement
  • Comes weeks after Pope Francis appointed Italian journalist and personal friend, Andrea Tornielli, to become editorial director of Vatican communications

The Vatican spokesman and his deputy have both quit just weeks after Pope Francis appointed his close friend as an ‘editorial director’. 

An official statement did not give a reason for the resignation of American Greg Burke and Spaniard Paloma Garcia Ovejero.

But it comes weeks after Pope Francis appointed Italian journalist and personal friend, Andrea Tornielli, to become editorial director of Vatican communications. 

The Vatican spokesman and his deputy have both quit just weeks after Pope Francis (pictured on Sunday) appointed his close friend as ‘editorial director’ 

An official statement did not give a reason for the resignation of American Greg Burke (pictured) and Spaniard Paloma Garcia Ovejero

An official statement did not give a reason for the resignation of American Greg Burke (pictured) and Spaniard Paloma Garcia Ovejero

In a tweet, Burke said he and his deputy had resigned effective January 1. Burke wrote ‘At this time of transition in Vatican communications, we think it’s best the Holy Father is completely free to assemble a new team.’

Francis named a member of the Vatican’s communications office, Alessandro Gisotti, as an interim replacement.

The pope has recently overhauled the Vatican’s media operations by ousting the longtime editor of the Vatican newspaper and naming a new director of editorial content for all Vatican media.

Paloma Garcia Ovejero (pictured) has also quit. It comes weeks after Pope Francis appointed Italian journalist and personal friend, Andrea Tornielli, to become editorial director of Vatican communications

Paloma Garcia Ovejero (pictured) has also quit. It comes weeks after Pope Francis appointed Italian journalist and personal friend, Andrea Tornielli, to become editorial director of Vatican communications

Burke, 59, a former Rome-based reporter for Fox News, joined the Vatican in 2012 as an advisor in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State and become spokesman in 2016. 

He is a member of the conservative Catholic group Opus Dei.

Ovejero, 43, a former reporter for the Spanish radio network COPE, was one of the highest-ranking women in the Vatican. 

They both thanked the pope. ‘A stage is ending. Thank you for these two and a half years,’ Garcia tweeted. 

The pope has recently overhauled the Vatican’s media operations for the second time by ousting the longtime editor of the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano and naming a new director of editorial content for all Vatican media, the Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli.

The resignations clearly took the new team by surprise.

The head of Vatican communications, Paolo Ruffini, said he had learned of the decision by Burke and Garcia and respected it. He praised their professionalism and said he had full confidence in Gisotti, who had been a longtime journalist with Vatican Radio and more recently had been head of social media for the Vatican.

‘The year ahead is full of important appointments that will require maximum communications efforts,’ Ruffini said in a statement.

It was perhaps a reference to Francis’ high-stakes summit on preventing clergy sex abuse in February, as well as his multiple foreign trips planned for 2019: Panama, United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Bulgaria and Macedonia in the first half of the year, and rumored trips to Madagascar and Japan in the second half.

Francis also has to deal with continued fallout from the clergy abuse scandal, in Chile, the U.S. and beyond. The next year will likely see the outcome of a canonical investigation into ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, accused of sexually abusing minors and adult seminarians, as well as the results of a Vatican investigation into McCarrick’s rise through church ranks. 

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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