No respite for pope as more documents leaked

MILAN Sun Jun 3, 2012 9:11am EDT

The Pope's butler, Paolo Gabriele (bottom L), arrives with Pope Benedict XVI (R) at St. Peter's Square in the Vatican in this May 23, 2012 file photo. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi/Files

The Pope's butler, Paolo Gabriele (bottom L), arrives with Pope Benedict XVI (R) at St. Peter's Square in the Vatican in this May 23, 2012 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi/Files

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MILAN (Reuters) - Pope Benedict got no rest on Sunday from a leaks scandal when an Italian newspaper published documents showing that his butler was not the only person in possession of confidential correspondence indicating a Vatican in disarray.

Benedict, 85, ended a weekend trip to Italy's industrial and financial capital Milan with a closing mass for an international gathering in which he praised traditional Catholic family values and re-stated his opposition to gay marriage.

But in its Sunday edition, the Rome newspaper La Repubblica published documents it said it had received anonymously after the arrest of the pope's butler on May 23.

A note received by the newspaper said there were "hundreds more" documents and that the butler, Paolo Gabriele, was just a scapegoat.

The furore over the leaked correspondence, which shows power-hungry cardinals and scheming within the walls of the city state, has gripped the Vatican just as it was recovering from a long-running scandal over sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in the United States, Ireland and other countries.

One letter, dated January 16, was sent by Cardinal Raymond Burke, an American who heads a Vatican department, to the pope's secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

Burke complains that a decision regarding a liturgical matter was taken without consulting his office, which is responsible for such matters.

The person who sent Repubblica the documents also provided two letters signed by the pope's private secretary, Monsignor Georg Ganswein. The newspaper said those letters had everything but the letterhead and the signature whited out.

The newspaper said that in the note accompanying the documents, the person who sent them said the contents had been whited out "so as not to offend the Holy Father" but threatened to reveal the contents.


The butler Gabriele, who is being held in a "safe room" in the Vatican's police station, is expected to be questioned this week by a Vatican prosecutor who will decide if there are grounds to order him to stand trial.

Gabriele, 45, is currently being held on charges of aggravated theft but if he is charged with divulging state secrets he could receive a prison sentence of up to 30 years.

The person who sent the documents to the paper said Bertone and Ganswein were "those really responsible for this scandal".

During his weekend trip to Milan, the pope has made no reference to the affair, which began in January 2011 when an Italian television show first aired leaked documents alleging cronyism and corruption in the Vatican.

Last week, Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi published the book "His Holiness," which contained more documents.

In his sermon closing the event in Milan, the pope, speaking to a crowd of one million who had come from as far away as Zimbabwe and New Zealand, stressed again that the family must be based on marriage between man and woman and open to the possibility of having children.

The ceremony at a park in Milan's northern outskirts was attended by Italian leaders including Prime Minister Mario Monti.

The pope made no mention of the leaks scandal but spoke of the damage to family life that modern society can inflict.

"The one-sided logic of sheer utility and maximum profit are not conducive to harmonious development, to the good of the family or to building a more just society" he said.

"(This) brings in its wake ferocious competition, strong inequalities, degradation of the environment, the race for consumer goods, family tensions," he said.

(Reporting By Philip Pullella; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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Comments (69)
boreal wrote:
Who would gain and has the resources to soil the Pope’s and/or the church’s reputation?

Jun 03, 2012 10:18am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Dumble wrote:
Boreal, the church has done a fine job of being totally corrupt and evil all by itself. The light of day exposes the pope and the church and billions stand to gain by seeing the truth.
Raised Catholic, faith lasted unit the age of reason when none of the jabberwocky made sense anymore. Look at that man, look into his eyes, listen to his diatribe. Repression repression repression, thats what it is all about. Even now, as documents leak, it is about repression of those documents. May truth and joy and light win out.

Jun 03, 2012 11:25am EDT  --  Report as abuse
scythe wrote:
(yawn) corporate management stuff – exciting for the little people who like to point fingers and those who believe the bible is infallible

same tripe as american or british corporates – allegations of moral turpitude, graft, croneyism, even embezzlement

at least he wasn’t attacked in the usa by a deranged naked cannibal in broad daylight

Jun 03, 2012 12:40pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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