Vatican press chief resigns over the doctored letter

Vatican City, March 22: The head of the Vatican's Communications Department resigned on Wednesday after coming under fire for doctoring a letter sent by retired Pope Benedict XVI.

A brief Vatican statement, cited by the BBC, said Pope Francis had "accepted" the resignation of Monsignor Dario Vigano.

It came after the Vatican admitted blurring part of a letter about Pope Francis written by his predecessor, in a picture sent to the media.

The tampering caused controversy amid concern over so-called "fake news".

The row began after Vigano, whose official title was prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for Communication, asked Pope Benedict XVI to write some "dense theology" to be read at a presentation event for a new series of books about Pope Francis.

In his letter, Pope Benedict welcomed the publication of the volumes but said he would not be able to write a reflection because he would not have time to read them.

Vigano read selected passages from the letter at a presentation on March 12. Then journalists received a doctored image of the letter, which blurred out the lines where Pope Benedict explained he would not be reading the books.

In his letter of resignation, Vigano told Pope Francis that although it was not intentional, his actions had "destabilized the complex and great work of reform".

"I think that for me stepping aside would be a fruitful occasion for renewal," he said.

Source: IANS