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28 July 2016 | by Christopher Lamb

 

He’s been at the helm during some of the biggest Catholic stories for generations: a papal resignation, two Vatileaks trials and the election of the first Jesuit Pope.

On Monday, however, Fr Federico Lombardi leaves his post as director of the Holy See Press Office after a decade in the job – his final act as spokesman will be organising the briefings for the Pope’s World Youth Day trip to Poland this week.

The 73-year-old Italian Jesuit has been in the eye of numerous media storms that started early in his tenure. First up was the row over Benedict XVI’s remarks about the Prophet Muhammad during his 2006 Regensburg lecture, then there was the lifting of the excommunications of ultra-traditionalist “Lefebvrist” bishops, which included one Richard Williamson who had recently denied the Holocaust on TV, and finally the ongoing clerical sexual abuse scandal.





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