Former Vatican communications chief named vice chancellor of Pontifical Academy of Sciences

Vatican City, Aug 31, 2019 / 05:29 am (CNA).- Pope Francis has named Msgr. Dario Edoardo Vigano, former head of Vatican communications, to a new position of vice chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

Dario Vigano, 57, has been serving as an advisor to the Vatican communications department since March 2018, when he stepped down as prefect of what was then the Secretariat for Communications.

Vigano’s resignation followed a controversy some dubbed “Lettergate,” in which the priest, when presenting a letter of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI to the media, had blurred some lines and omitted whole paragraphs, obscuring its full meaning.

According to the Aug. 31 communique, as vice chancellor, a role which previously did not exist, Vigano has been given “specific competence” over the communications sector of the sciences and social sciences pontifical academies.

Vigano, who studied social communications, was a university professor before being named director of the Vatican Television Center (CTV) in January 2013. In June 2015 he was appointed prefect of the then newly established Secretariat for Communications (now a dicastery) with a mandate to reform and streamline the various communications entities.

It was also announced Aug. 31 that Pope Francis has named the papal English interpreter Msgr. Mark Miles the Holy See’s permanent observer to the Organization of American States, headquartered in Washington, D.C.

This position was previously held by the Holy See’s permanent observer to the United Nations, Archbishop Bernardito Auza. It will now have its own office.

Miles, 52, has been present for many of Pope Francis’ important audiences and events. He interpreted for Pope Francis during meetings with President Barack Obama in 2014 and 2015 and during the pope’s 2017 audience with United States President Donald Trump.

Miles has also frequently provided live interpretation for Francis’ extemporaneous speeches, including during the 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.

A native of Gibraltar, Miles has a degree in canon law. He entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 2003. He has served as papal representative in Ecuador and Hungary and in the General Affairs Section of the Secretariat of State.

He speaks Spanish and French in addition to English and Italian.

The Organization of American States (OAS) is a regional organization made up of all 35 independent states of the Americas. Its purpose is to promote peace, justice, solidarity, and collaboration among its member states and to defend their sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence.

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