Navarro Valls Resigns; Pope Names Father Lombardi

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VATICAN CITY, JULY 11, 2006 ( Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro Valls today and named Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi to replace him as head of the Vatican press office.

Navarro Valls had served as head of the Vatican press office for 22 years. He turns 70 in November.

"I know that over the years I received much more than I could ever give," Navarro Valls said.

Father Lombardi, 63, is the current director of Vatican Radio and the Vatican Television Center. He will continue to direct these two organizations.