FrankenPope appoints new communications chief after ‘lettergate’ scandal

FrankenPope appoints new communications chief after ‘lettergate’ scandal

Journalist Paolo Ruffini succeeds Mgr Dario Viganò in the Dicastery for Communication

Pope Francis has appointed a layman as the Vatican’s new communications head, nearly four months after his predecessor stood down over a fake news scandal.

Journalist Paolo Ruffini will serve as Prefect of the Dicastery for Communication, succeeding Mgr Dario Viganò who resigned in March over the ‘lettergate’ scandal.

The scandal arose after the launch of an 11-book series on the theology of Pope Francis, which featured a letter from Pope Benedict XVI. The entire letter was read aloud at the press conference, but a subsequent image was blurred so only certain lines complimenting the series were visible.

It was later revealed that the blurred-out lines showed Benedict XVI had not in fact read the series, and also criticised the inclusion of an author known for “anti-papal initiatives”.

Mgr Viganò resigned, but Pope Francis asked him to stay on at the department in an advisory role.

Since his resignation, the Pope has changed the department from a ‘secretariat’ to a ‘dicastery’, which some observers see as a demotion.

Ruffini is director of TV2000, the television channel of the Italian bishops’ conference, and has previously worked for state broadcaster Rai and the Il Messaggero newspaper.

Get AQ Email Updates

One comment on “FrankenPope appoints new communications chief after ‘lettergate’ scandal

  1. nullnull

    The “Cardinals” Ruffini with the Popes who appointed them

    Paolo Ruffini is the nephew of the late and great Ernesto Cardinal Ruffini (1888-1967), who along with his colleague Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani led the resistance to the Modernists at Vatican II and during the post-V2 period (see recent AQ references to His Eminence at ). Thus, he is a cardinal’s nephew but not a cardinal nephew (a nephew or other relative of a reigning pope, who made him a cardinal especially to serve in the Roman Curia as Superintendent of the Ecclesiastical State, from which came the later office of Cardinal Secretary of State; his Latin title was “Cardinalis Nepos,” from which came the later word “nepotism”), although Rocco Palmo refers to him as a “lay cardinal” in his article about the appointment.

Leave a Reply