Tuesday 23 January 2018

Holy war as Vatican denies cardinal is source of leaks

Pope Benedict XVI blesses a family during Mass yesterday in St Peter's Basilica, the Vatican. Top left: The Pope’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, who was arrested last week.
Pope Benedict XVI blesses a family during Mass yesterday in St Peter's Basilica, the Vatican. Top left: The Pope’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, who was arrested last week.

Nick Pisa in Rome

THE Vatican has been forced to deny that a senior cardinal is the mastermind behind the so-called Vatileaks scandal in which the Pope's personal butler has been arrested.

Fr Federico Lombardi, the Pope's official spokesman, spoke out after several Italian newspapers claimed the brains of the operation was an unidentified "prince of the church".

Speculation has mounted that senior figures in the Roman Catholic Church are behind the leaking of sensitive Vatican documents and that Paolo Gabriele, the butler who has worked for the Pontiff for five years, is a scapegoat.

He was arrested last week after documents were found inside his Vatican apartment.

Several Italian newspapers carried an interview with an anonymous whistle-blower who explained why the documents were being leaked.

"There's a group of us: the real brains behind it are cardinals, then there are monsignors, secretaries, small fry," the informer said. "The valet is just a delivery boy that somebody wants to set up.

"Vatican intelligence has security systems more advanced than anything the CIA has but cardinals are still in the habit of writing their messages by hand and dictating them.

"It's open warfare, with everyone against everyone else. Those doing it are acting to protect the Pope. There are those opposed to the Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone.

"And those who think that Benedict XVI is too weak to lead the church. And those who think that this is the time to step forward. So it's become everyone against everyone."

The source also explained how the Pope had gathered a select group of five people to act as his eyes and ears within the Vatican "to protect himself".

Within hours of the interview, Fr Lombardi issued a denial categorically stating "no cardinal was involved and no one else is under investigation".

Cardinal Robert Sarah (67), said that: ". . . nothing can be excluded including a plot or some other guided hand." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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