Vatican City

Vatican comms chief Viganò quits over Benedict letter (5)

Pope accepts resignation

Vatican comms chief Viganò quits over Benedict letter (5)

Vatican City, March 21 - Vatican prefect for the secretariate for communication (SPC) Msgr Dario Edoardo Viganò on Wednesday resigned over a flap about a letter from Pope Eemeritus Benedict XVI praising successor Pope Francis, part of which was initially omitted. Viganò allegedly doctored the letter and described it incorrectly in public on the occasion of the release of an 11-volume collection of Francis theological works. In the letter, Benedict praised the "continuity" between his pontificate and that of Francis, chiding "foolish prejudice" against his successor. Viganò initially omitted a part where Benedict criticised the selection of German cleric Peter Huenermann as one of the commentators on the volume. Huenermann had been a critic of Benedict and his predecessor John Paul II. Until the appointment of a new prefect, the SPC will be headed by its secretary, Msgr Lucio Adrián Ruiz, Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said. "There have been many polemics about my role recently," Viganò said in a statement. The pope thanked him for his work and for agreeing to take a "step backwards".

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