The head of the Vatican's communications department has resigned over a scandal about a letter from the retired pope that he mischaracterized in public and then had digitally manipulated in a photograph sent to the media.

The Vatican said Pope Francis had accepted the resignation of Monsignor Dario Vigano on Wednesday. The so-called "Lettergate" scandal erupted after Vigano read aloud a private letter from retired Pope Benedict XVI at a book launch for an 11-volume set of books about Francis' theology.

Vigano didn't read the whole letter, including where Benedict objected to one of the authors.

The Associated Press reported the photograph that Vigano's office issued had digitally blurred out the lines where Benedict began to explain that he wouldn't comment on the books. The manipulation violated photojournalism ethical standards.