CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 17 November 2018

Print Version    Email to Friend
Vatican communications prefect resigns

VATICAN (CNS): After a very public controversy involving the use of a letter by Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Monsignor Dario Vigano as prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for Communication in March 21.
 
The controversy began on March 12 at the presentation of The Theology of Pope Francis, an 11-volume series of books (Sunday Examiner, March 18), when Monsignor Vigano read selected sentences from a letter from Pope Benedict.
 
The retired pope affirmed the internal continuity between his pontificate and that of Pope Francis and was critical of the latter’s critics, saying that the books contradict “the foolish prejudice of those who see Pope Francis as someone who lacks a particular theological and philosophical formation.”
 
However, going against accepted journalistic norms, in the material handed out to the media, the Secretariat for Communications also published a photograph showing the first page of the letter, with several lines purposefully blurred—the passage in which the retired pope declined to write a theological reflection on the series—and the second page, except for the signature, covered by a book.
 
Following the ensuing uproar and questions were raised in the media about what exactly the letter said, the Vatican released the full text on March 17.
 
It showed that not only had Pope Benedict said he was unable to read the full series, but that he objected to one of the authors chosen to write one of the volumes.
 
In his letter of resignation, Monsignor Vigano told Pope Francis that although it was not intentional, his actions had “destabilized the complex and great work of reform” with which the pope had entrusted him.
 
“I think that for me stepping aside would be a fruitful occasion for renewal,” the monsignor wrote.
 
The monsignor was named prefect of the secretariat when it was created in June 2015. 
 
The new secretariat was charged with unifying the offices and tasks previously handled by nine entities: the Pontifical Council for Social Communications; the Vatican press office; the Vatican Internet office; Vatican Radio; the Vatican television production studio, CTV; the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano; the Vatican printing press; the Vatican photograph service; and the Vatican publishing house, Libreria Editrice Vaticana. 

More from this section