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Calm down, folks. This isn't a Vatican crisis.

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | May 31, 2012

Reuters says that the Vatileaks scandal is “the worst crisis in Pope Benedict’s pontificate”…”a scandal that has shaken the very centre of the Church.”

Vatican Insider offers offers this melodramatic tidbit:

“Somehow this is even worse than the storm caused by the Church paedophilia scandal,” said a priest who entered the great gate of Porta Angelica with brisk fearful steps.

Okay, everybody stop right there and take a deep breath. Yes, the Vatileaks affair is messy. But no one has been killed, no heresies have been taught, no schisms have occurred, no innocent children have been violated.

The leaks have exposed infighting at the Vatican. That’s unfortunate, but should not be terribly surprising to anyone who believes in Original Sin. Cardinals and archbishops are human beings, subject to ambition and jealousy and resentment like everyone else. Remarkably enough, not one of the leaked documents is even remotely damaging to Pope Benedict himself.

The Pope has been betrayed by someone(s) close to him, and that’s sad. But what other harm has been done, really? The Vatican bureaucracy has been exposed to negative publicity…again. Worse things have happened.

The Vatileaks affair has demonstrated that some officials within the Roman Curia are devoting too much time and energy to personal rivalries, and not enough to the wishes of the Holy Father and the needs of the Church. The breathless over-reaction to the leaks only underlines the point. Some Vatican officials, evidently, are so preoccupied with their own affairs that they don’t notice there’s a whole wide world—and a whole universal Church—out there. That unnamed priest quoted by Vatican Insider has lost all perspective. If he can seriously compare this little squall with the sex-abuse crisis, he should take some “brisk, fearful steps” into a new line of work.

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Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: msgrtom - Jun. 02, 2012 11:58 AM ET USA

    This whole thing is an example of why we should not let 12 year old boys enter a minor seminary and spend the rest of their lives institutionalized in seminaries and then in a department of the Curia. This whole purerile affair looks like childhood rivalries carried far too long into adulthood as monisgnors, bishops and cardinals. Good Grief! Tell the boys to grow up!

  • Posted by: Gerry H - Jun. 01, 2012 4:38 PM ET USA

    There is a sad tendency to make everything in the Church, particularly the Curia, fit into a political model. When something like this comes along, the attempted fit makes great media copy, but also shows how the model doesn't fit at all. The faith of the Church is not a contest of ideas, and those who direct her are not contestants in a political arena. And if we expect none of those people to be sinners, we haven't been paying attention to the content of the Faith.

  • Posted by: Cornelius - May. 31, 2012 3:15 PM ET USA

    I concur, and don't understand what all the fuss is about. It is unfortunate and sad that a person close to the Pope would betray confidences, but it's not the end of the world or the Church. There are many more serious things to be concerned about.

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