Pope's valet now cooperating with wider investigation into Vatican leaks
May 28, 2012
Paolo Gabriele, the valet to Pope Benedict XVI who was arrested on May 25 for holding confidential papal documents, has promised to cooperate with a larger investigation into the source of leaked Vatican documents.
After initially declining to answer questions about his involvement in the “Vatileaks” scandal, Gabriele has decided to aid the investigation, according to his lawyer. The arrest of the Pope’s valet caused a sensation in Rome, where Vatican-watchers are questioning Gabriele’s motives and the likelihood that he was working with others to leak the Vatican documents.
Many Italian media reports suggested that leading Vatican officials were under suspicion. Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, told reporters that many reports circulating in the Italian press were purely speculative. But the speculation persisted, because Vatican-watchers explain why the Pope’s valet would have been motivated to release a series of documents which caused embarrassment to the Vatican and especially to the Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.
The Italian daily La Repubblica carried an interview with an informant who, speaking under cover of anonymity, claimed that a number of ranking Vatican officials were involved in the leaks. The anonymous source said that the goal of the campaign of was to expose the dangerous consolidation of power under Cardinal Bertone. The source claimed that Cardinal Bertone had engineered the ouster last week of Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, the head of the Vatican bank, in another bid to increase his power.
The Repubblica source said that the dismissal of Tedeschi came as a stunning blow to Pope Benedict, who was close to the banker. But the Pope could not intervene, the source said, without risking a break with Cardinal Bertone. The source said that the leakers were hoping to help the Pope by unseating Cardinal Bertone—although the Pope clearly regards the Secretary of State as a loyal aide and ally.
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