The New Year’s Eve resignations of Greg Burke, the director of the Holy See Press Office, and his deputy, Paloma Garcia Ovejero, caught many by surprise, particularly given that the first part of 2019 is laden with events at which every word of Pope Francis is going to be subject to close media scrutiny.
When a retired Vatican diplomat called for the Pope to stand down, alleging that he was complicit in covering up abuse, many felt Francis would be forced to defend himself equally publicly. Instead, in a move which has infuriated his opponents, he has chosen to say nothing
In the lead-up to the 2003 Iraq War, an increasingly frail John Paul II deployed every tool in the papal diplomatic armoury to prevent the US-led invasion, something he described as “an adventure with no return”.
The past 12 months will go down as the most testing year yet for the Francis papacy, with the Pope forced to navigate the barque of Peter through a perfect storm of clerical sexual abuse scandals and opposition to his pontificate.
Most of the reporting on a new book-length interview with Pope Francis has focused on his remark that gay clergy should be “impeccably responsible” and, if they are living a double life, must leave the ordained ministry.