The Vatican spokesman and his deputy resigned Monday to the surprise of the Vatican communication team amid preparations for Pope Francis’ summit on sex abuse.
Francis accepted the resignations of Vatican spokesman Greg Burke and his deputy Paloma Garcia Ovejero, effective Jan. 1, despite facing continued fallout from the Catholic Church’s global sex abuse crisis. The timing of the resignations sparked concerns that there may be problems with Francis’ efforts to overhaul Vatican bureaucracy, throwing the church into further tumult as Francis prepares for an important February summit on sex abuse with the presidents of bishops conferences from around the world.
“What’s more, given the standard rule of crisis communications that you don’t leave in the middle of the storm, but ride it out, to lose both the Vatican’s top press hands (both quite devout) in mid-scandal appears to signal that something has become professionally untenable,” tweeted Catholic commentator and writer Rocco Palmo.
Paolo Ruffini, head of Vatican communication, also noted that Francis will need a strong communication team to weather the continuing controversy over what sex abuse survivors, advocates and Catholic lay-faithful see as his failure to adequately address sex abuse and cover-up allegations in the church, including allegations against himself.
“The year ahead is full of important appointments that will require maximum communications efforts,” Ruffini said, according to The Associated Press. more here