Vatican spokesman and his deputy both QUIT weeks after Pope appointed friend as ...

Vatican spokesman and his deputy both QUIT - just weeks after Pope appointed his close friend as 'editorial director' American Greg Burke and his deputy, Spaniard Paloma Garcia Ovejero, have quit Communications official, Alessandro Gisotti, named as an interim replacement Comes weeks after Pope Francis appointed Italian journalist and personal friend, Andrea Tornielli, to become editorial director of Vatican communications

By Julian Robinson for MailOnline

Published: 11:36 GMT, 31 December 2018 | Updated: 10:16 GMT, 1 January 2019

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The Vatican spokesman and his deputy have both quit just weeks after Pope Francis appointed his close friend as an 'editorial director'. 

An official statement did not give a reason for the resignation of American Greg Burke and Spaniard Paloma Garcia Ovejero.

But it comes weeks after Pope Francis appointed Italian journalist and personal friend, Andrea Tornielli, to become editorial director of Vatican communications. 

The Vatican spokesman and his deputy have both quit just weeks after Pope Francis (pictured in St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican yesterday) appointed his close friend as 'editorial director'

The Vatican spokesman and his deputy have both quit just weeks after Pope Francis (pictured in St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican yesterday) appointed his close friend as 'editorial director'

The Vatican spokesman and his deputy have both quit just weeks after Pope Francis (pictured in St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican yesterday) appointed his close friend as 'editorial director' 

Pope Francis (centre) meets faithful prior his visit to the crib after First Vespers and 'Te Deum' prayer during the rite of thanksgiving for the end of the year, in Vatican City last night

Pope Francis (centre) meets faithful prior his visit to the crib after First Vespers and 'Te Deum' prayer during the rite of thanksgiving for the end of the year, in Vatican City last night

An official statement did not give a reason for the resignation of American Greg Burke (pictured) and Spaniard Paloma Garcia Ovejero

An official statement did not give a reason for the resignation of American Greg Burke (pictured) and Spaniard Paloma Garcia Ovejero

In a tweet, Burke said he and his deputy had resigned effective January 1. Burke wrote 'At this time of transition in Vatican communications, we think it's best the Holy Father is completely free to assemble a new team.'

Francis named a member of the Vatican's communications office, Alessandro Gisotti, as an interim replacement.

The pope has recently overhauled the Vatican's media operations by ousting the longtime editor of the Vatican newspaper and naming a new director of editorial content for all Vatican media.

Paloma Garcia Ovejero (pictured) has also quit. It comes weeks after Pope Francis appointed Italian journalist and personal friend, Andrea Tornielli, to become editorial director of Vatican communications

Paloma Garcia Ovejero (pictured) has also quit. It comes weeks after Pope Francis appointed Italian

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