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Key Vatican official comments on 'Vatileaks' scandal

May 29, 2012

Archbishop Angelo Becciu, who directs the flow of Vatican paperwork in his capacity as sostituto or deputy Secretary of State, commented on the leaks of confidential papal documents, and on the arrest of the Pope's valet, in an interview with L'Osservatore Romano.

The Vatican newspaper had previously given scant notice to the 'Vatileaks' scandal, printing only official announcements. The archbishop was the first ranking prelate to speak at length, and on the record, about the subject that has dominated Italian media coverage of the Vatican recently. Because the sostituto handles the correspondence of the Roman Curia, and meets with the Pontiff on a daily basis, Archbishop Beccui can speak with authority on the topic.

Pope Benedict XVI has been "saddened" by the scandal and by the arrest of his valet, the archbishop reported. He himself said that the public release of papal correspondence is "an immoral act of unheard-of gravity." The archbishop explained that those who advise the Pontiff, or present problems for him to resolve, must work on the understanding that they are "guaranteed absolute confidentiality." The breach of that trust does grave damage, he said.

Questioned about the differences of opinion that emerge clearly in the correspondence that has now been made public, Archbishop Becciu said that disputes are not remarkable in any decision-making system. "In short, we are not mummies," he said; "rather, different viewpoints or even contrasting evaluations are normal." The archbishop declined to be pulled into a conversation about personal rivalries among Vatican officials.


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