December 31, 2018
By Chico Harlan
The Vatican capped a tumultuous year Monday by announcing the unexpected resignations of its head spokesman, Greg Burke, and his deputy, the figures most responsible for day-to-day dealings with the media.
The statement provided no reason for the departures of Burke and Paloma Garcia Ovejero, but the moves follow the Vatican’s overhaul this year of much of its communications office. Earlier this month, Pope Francis named Andrea Tornielli, a veteran Italian journalist, as the editorial director for Vatican communications.
On Twitter, Burke said the resignations would be 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,” Burke wrote.
The head of the Vatican’s communications office, Paolo Ruffini, who was also appointed to his job this year, said the resignations were “autonomous” and of “free choice.”
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