31 December 2018, The Tablet

Surprise resignation of Vatican press officers

Pope Francis has accepted the resignations of Greg Burke and Paloma García Ovejero

Surprise resignation of Vatican press officers

Vatican Press Office Director Greg Burke and Vice Director Paloma García Ovejero
Vatican Media

Pope Francis has accepted the resignations of his two Vatican press office directors, it was revealed today.

Greg Burke, an American, and Paloma García Ovejero, who is Spanish, have resigned with effect from tomorrow as the Vatican press office director and his deputy in charge of Vatican communications with the media.

Their surprise departure was explained on Twitter by Burke, who wrote: "Paloma and I have resigned, effective Jan. 1. At this time of transition in Vatican communications, we think it’s best the Holy Father is completely free to assemble a new team."

He also tweeted: "I joined the Vatican in 2012. The experience has been fascinating, to say the least. Thank you, Pope Francis. Un abrazo muy fuerte", adding: "New Year, New Adventures."

Pope Francis has named as interim director Alessandro Gisotti, former deputy editor of Vatican Radio, now Vatican News, and current coordinator of social media for the Vatican Dicastery for Communication. 

The head of Vatican communications, Paolo Ruffini, said in a statement: "In these few months of work together I was able to appreciate their professionalism, their humanity, their faith, which is why I thank them for the dedication."

Noting that they had been selected by his predecessor Monsignor Darío Edoardo Viganò, he said their choice to resign was "free and autonomous". As director and deputy director off the press office they had been in post from the start of Pope Francis' reforms of Holy See communications.

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