BFF-36 Vatican spokesman and his deputy resign

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BFF-36

VATICAN-POPE-SPOKESMAN

Vatican spokesman and his deputy resign

VATICAN CITY, Dec 31, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – The Vatican on Monday announced the
resignations of its spokesman and his deputy, without giving any explanation.

Pope Francis “has accepted the resignation of the director and deputy
director of the press office of the Vatican, Greg Burke and Paloma Garcia
Ovejero, and named Alessandro Gisotti as acting director,” it said in a
statement.

American Burke, a member of the ultra-conservative and influential Opus Dei
movement, was appointed in July 2016 after having been deputy spokesman.

In a series of tweets, Burke confirmed that he and Garcia Ovejero would
step down on January 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,” Burke wrote
Monday.

He said his “experience had been fascinating, to say the least”.

The 59-year-old had previously worked as a journalist in Rome for the
weekly National Catholic Reporter, for Time magazine and for the US
television network Fox News.

He was the second Opus Dei member to hold the post after Spain’s Joaquin
Navarro Valls, the powerful head of communications for Pope John Paul II.

Garcia Ovejero, 43, a Spaniard, was the first woman to hold the number two
post in the press office. She was previously Vatican correspondent for
Spanish radio network Cadena COPE.

The resignations are the latest in a series of key staff changes within the
pope’s communications office, which also saw seasoned Vatican journalist
Andrea Tornielli appointed as editorial head earlier this month.

BSS/AFP/SSS/2007 hrs