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Vatican media chief resigns after doctored letter incident

By Ed Adamczyk
Vatican media chief resigns after doctored letter incident
Vatican communications chief Dario Vigano resigned Wednesday, citing controversies surrounding his work. Last week, his office was criticized for distributing a doctored letter about former Pope Benedict XVI. Photo courtesy Vatican Media

March 21 (UPI) -- The Vatican's director of communications resigned Wednesday in the aftermath of a controversy involving a falsified letter related to former Pope Benedict XVI.

Dario Vigano submitted his resignation, which was accepted by Pope Francis.

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While introducing a series of books on the theology of Pope Francis last week, Vigano's office inadvertently distributed a photocopied letter from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI -- which turned out to be doctored to conceal that Benedict had not read the books.

It later emerged that Benedict opposed the thoughts expressed by one of the authors.

Although no longer pope, Benedict, 90, still resides at the Vatican and maintains the unique title Pope Emeritus.

In a letter to Pope Francis, Vigano said his resignation was given so that reform of the Vatican's media services can proceed without being "delayed, damaged or even blocked" by the scandal.

Vigano's letter did not specifically mention the book event, but did cite controversies surrounding his work. He also thanked the pope for "paternal and solid" support.

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