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Pope visits retired pontiff after doctored letter scandal

Pope Francis has visited retired Pope Benedict XVI in the first known contact between the two popes following a major gaffe by Francis' communications chief over his misrepresentation of a letter from Benedict. The Vatican press office says Francis called on Benedict to bring him Easter greetings.
By The News · 27 of March 2018 19:10:40
Pope Francis celebrates a Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, March 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini), No available, Pope Francis celebrates a Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, March 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has visited retired Pope Benedict XVI in the first known contact between the two popes following a major gaffe by Francis’ communications chief over his misrepresentation of a letter from Benedict.

The Vatican press office said Francis called on Benedict on Tuesday to bring him Easter greetings.

The meeting, however, came a week after Francis’ hand-picked communications czar, Monsignor Dario Vigano, was forced to resign over the so-called Lettergate scandal.

Vigano partially revealed the contents of a private letter from Benedict to make it seem as if he endorsed a new volume of books about Francis’ theology, when he hadn’t read it. Vigano then had a photo of the letter doctored to blur out Benedict’s full caveat.

The scandal led to accusations the Vatican was spreading “fake news.”