VATICAN CITY – The Vatican on Monday announced the resignation 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.
#PopeFrancis accepts the resignation of Greg Burke and Paloma García Ovejero, Director and Deputy Director of the Holy See Press Office, and appoints Alessandro Gisotti as Director of the Press Office ad interim. https://t.co/2XuZ5KITjk
— Vatican News (@VaticanNews) December 31, 2018
American Burke, a member of the ultra-conservative and influential Opus Dei movement, was appointed in July 2016 after having been deputy spokesman.
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.