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Pope appoints special commission of cardinals to probe Vatican leaks

Catholic World News - April 25, 2012

The Vatican has announced the formation of a special commission of cardinals to investigate the leaks of confidential documents from the Secretariat of State.

Pope Benedict XVI has appointed three retired cardinals to the commission. Cardinal Julian Herranz, the former president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, is chairing the investigation; the other commission members are Cardinal Jozef Tomko, the former prefect of the Congregation for Evangelization; and Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi, the former Archbishop of Palermo.

The three prelates—all of them in their early 80s—met on April 24 to establish procedures for their inquiry. The April 25 announcement gave no timetable for the commission’s work.

The Vatican has been embarrassed by the disclosure of a series of internal documents that have highlighted disagreements within the Roman Curia. The leaks have focused critical attention especially on the Secretariat of State. It was the Secretariat of State that released an April 25 announcement of the new commission’s work, describing it as “an authoritative investigation” that would “throw light on these episodes.”

The appointment of three retired cardinals to conduct the investigation may reflect an effort by the Secretariat of State to ensure that the prelates could not be accused of involvement in any “turf wars” inside the Vatican.

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