On March 21, 2018, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Monsignor Dario Edoardo Vigano, as Prefect of the Secretariat for Communication. Monsignor Vigano explained in a letter that he did so to not taint or slow down the process of reform.
In a statement published at midday, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke, specified that, until the appointment of a new Prefect, the Dicastery’s Secretary – Number 2 – Monsignor Lucio Adrian Ruiz, will head it.
The resignation happened a few days after a controversy arose over the publication of a letter from Benedict XVI in response to a request from the Prefect to review a collection of works on the theology of Pope Francis. The publication by the Prefect’s office omitted key sections of the letter, including a passage where the Pope Emeritus regretted the contribution of the German theologian, who expressed his opposition to John Paul II’s magisterium and then that of his own pontificate
“These last days have raised a number of controversies about my acts that, beyond the intentions, de-stabilize the great complex work of reform that you entrusted to me in June 2015,” wrote Monsignor Vigano in his letter of resignation.
He adds: “In respect of the persons who have worked with me these years and to avoid that my person might in some way retard, cause harm or even block all that was established in the Motu Proprio . . . of June 27, 2015, and above all, out of love for the Church and for you, Holy Father, I ask you to accept my desire to step aside making myself available, should you so desire, to collaborate in other ways.”
I believe that my stepping aside will be a fruitful occasion of renewal for me or, recalling Jesus’ meeting with Nicodemus (John 31:1), a time to learn to be reborn from on high. Moreover, it’s not the Church of roles, which you have taught us to love and live, but that of service, a style that I have always sought to live,” concludes Monsignor Vigano.
The Pope Appoints Him Assessor within the Same Dicastery
In a letter published the same day, Pope Francis accepts the resignation in these terms: “Following our recent meetings and after having reflected at length and carefully weighed the reasons for your request . . . I respect your decision and I accept, not without some lassitude, your resignation as Prefect.
“I ask you to continue in the heart of the Dicastery, appointing you Assessor for the Dicastery of Communication in order to be able to make your human and professional contribution to the new Prefect and to the project of reform desired by the Council of Cardinals.” A reform that reaches its conclusion with the imminent incorporation of L’Osservatore Romano and the Vatican typography at the heart of the system of communication, notes the Pontiff.
The Pope applauded the “great engagement” and the “style of available confrontation and docility” of Monsignor Vigano with the collaborators of the Curia and he stresses that “the reform of the Church is not, first of all, a problem of organization charts but, rather, the adoption of a spirit of service.” He thanks the outgoing Prefect for his “humility” and his “profound sensus ecclesiae.”