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Vatican seeking truth behind document leaks, papal spokesman says

May 31, 2012

The Vatican is moving forward expeditiously with an investigation into the leaks of confidential documents, the director of the Vatican press office told reporters during a May 30 briefing.

Father Federico Lombardi said that Vatican officials are motivated in their investigation by “a line of desire for truth and clarity, for transparency.” The investigation is being conducted by a Vatican magistrate and by the special commission appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to research the leaks, he said. The papal spokesman quickly brushed aside reports that Pope Benedict is considering resignation because of the scandal. Those reports, he said, “baseless creations of some journalists, which have no foundation in reality.” Father Lombardi said that despite the differences exposed by the leaked documents, Vatican officials are fully supportive of Pope Benedict. He observed: "This is precisely the moment in which to demonstrate esteem and appreciation for the Holy Father and the service he carries out; to show full solidarity with him and thus, to demonstrate communion, unity, and coherence with how this situation is dealt with.” To date Paolo Gabriele, the Pope’s valet, is the only suspect who has been arrested in connection with the leaks. Gabriele has reportedly agreed to cooperate fully with the investigators, who plan to question him intensively beginning on Monday, June 4.

According to Italian media reports, Msgr. Georg Ganswein, the Pope’s private secretary, confronted Gabriele shortly before he was taken into custody by Vatican police. Msgr. Ganswein had reportedly reached the conclusion that the valet was a source of the leaked documents, because some of the correspondence that was released to the public would only have been available to a member of the papal household.

Gabriele’s lawyers have asked the Vatican magistrate to release him from the small secure room where he is now being held, and instead place him under house arrest in his own apartment inside the Vatican. The magistrate is weighing that request.


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