Vatican spokesman Greg Burke and his deputy, Paloma Garcia Ovejero, have resigned, an official Vatican statement announced Monday.The statement confirmed that Pope Francis accepted their resignations but did not provide more details about their abrupt exit.

Burke, an American, tweeted Monday that he and Ovejero, a Spaniard, had resigned effective January 1.

Alessandro Gisotti, currently coordinator of social media for the Dicastery for Communication and past deputy editor-in-chief of Vatican Radio (now called Vatican News), was named director of the press office on an interim basis.

Earlier in December Pope Francis named veteran Vatican journalist Andrea Tornielli editorial director of Vatican communications after appointing in July Italian layman Paolo Ruffini to head up the department.

Greg Burke, a St. Louis, Missouri native and a member of Opus Dei, was a Fox News correspondent before signing on with the Vatican and he worked for the National Catholic Register and Time magazine before that.