The director and deputy director of the Vatican press office resigned abruptly on Monday, offering no specific reason for their departure.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke announced on Twitter that he and his deputy, Paloma Garcia Ovejero, would leave their posts effective Jan. 1.

"At this time of transition in Vatican communications, we think it’s best the Holy Father is completely free to assemble a new team," Burke tweeted.

"New Year, New Adventures," he added in a later tweet.


Reuters reported that Burke and Ovejero announced their resignation two weeks after Pope Francis appointed Andrea Tornielli as editorial director for Vatican communications. Tornielli is an Italian journalist and personal friend of the pope.

Alessandro Gisotti, an Italian journalist believed to be close to Tornielli, was named interim spokesperson, Reuters reported.

The Catholic Church has in recent months dealt with a fresh wave of sexual abuse allegations against priests. 

Earlier this year, a conference of German bishops released a report detailing alleged abuse against 3,677 people between 1946 and 2014, including numerous victims younger than 13.

The German report came roughly a month after a separate grand jury report detailed alleged sexual abuse by more than 300 priests in Pennsylvania dating back decades.

Church leaders have faced accusations of failing to properly report and, in some cases, covering up abuse.

The Vatican heard testimony last Thursday from a man who said ex-cardinal and former D.C. Archbishop Theodore McCarrick sexually abused him as a child.