Vatican communications chief resigns after media botch

The Vatican’s communications chief, Monseigneur Dario Viganò has resigned.

His resignation comes a week after his department twice omitted information it gave the media about a letter by Pope emeritus Benedict XVI.

Viganò wrote to Pope Francis on 19 March offering his resignation.

“In recent days many controversies have arisen regarding my work which, beyond my intentions, has destabilised the complex and great work of reform that you entrusted to me in 2015,” he wrote.

“For the love of the church and of you, Holy Father, I ask you to welcome my desire to be set aside, leaving myself, if you desire, to be available to collaborate in other ways.”

On 21 March Francis replied:

“Following our most recent encounters and after having reflected at length and attentively considered the motivations of your request to ‘make a step backwards’ from direct responsibility for the Dicastery for Communications, I respect your decision and I welcome, not without some struggle, your resignation.”

Francis has asked Viganò to stay on as an Assessor to the new communications prefect, whose name is yet to be announced.

Viganò had been the Holy See’s Prefect of Communications since 2015. He was charged with consolidating and restructuring the Vatican’s media entities.

His initiatives have included letting go of the Vatican Radio brand. The Vatican News outlet has replaced it.

Viganò also cancelled the Vatican’s radio broadcasts everywhere but in Italy.

Although Bishop Paul Tighe has been picked by one news site as Viganò’s likely successor, there has been no official announcement from the Vatican.


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