Press Office Director Greg Burke and Vice Director Paloma Garcia Ovejero have abruptly resigned from their positions Monday in the light of the continuous sex abuse cases which have occurred in the holy institution.
The Vatican announced the news in a brief statement, adding that Alessandro Gisotti, currently coordinator of social media for the Vatican Dicastery for Social Communication, would temporarily take over the running of the office until a new structure is put in place.
In comments on Twitter, Burke, an Opus Dei numerary and native of St. Louis, said: “at this time of transition in Vatican communications, we think it’s best the Holy Father is completely free to assemble a new team.”
Pope Francis accepted their resignations but did not provide more details about their abrupt resignation.
Burke who has served at the head of the Holy See’s press office as the pope’s spokespersons since August 2016 said in a series of Tweets Dec. 31, that he and Ovejero 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.”
“I joined the Vatican in 2012. The experience has been fascinating, to say the least,” he continued. “Thank you, Pope Francis. Un abrazo muy fuerte.”
Ovejero wrote on Twitter that it is the end of a stage, saying in Spanish, “Thank you, Holy Father, for these two and a half years! Thank you, Greg, for your confidence, your patience, and your example.”
On Dec. 18, Pope Francis chose Italian Vaticanist Andrea Tornielli to be editorial director of the Dicastery for Communication. He also appointed author and journalist Andrea Monda as editor-in-chief of L'Osservatore Romano, replacing Giovanni Maria Vian.
Francis is facing new challenges after a series of scandals surfaced to the light for the first time including the clergy abuse scandal, in Chile, the United States.while investigations are still running concerning ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who is accused of sexually abusing minors and adult seminarians, as well as the results of a Vatican investigation into McCarrick's rise through church ranks.