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Vatican leaks continue, even after arrest of Pope's valet

Catholic World News - June 04, 2012

An Italian newspaper published a new batch of private Vatican documents on June 3, demonstrating that the arrest of the Pope’s valet, Paolo Gabriele, had not stopped the leaks of confidential correspondence.

La Repubblica published three documents, saying that they had been delivered anonymously, with an accompanying note saying that there were “hundreds more” that could be leaked.

The arrest of Gabriele was a jolt to the papal household, but informed observers quickly suggested that the Pope’s valet was unlikely to have acted alone in releasing dozens of papal documents. The new spate of leaked documents, delivered to La Repubblica while Gabriele was under arrest, confirms that a wider conspiracy is involved.

Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, did his best to downplay the importance of the new leaks. The papal spokesman told reporters that he expected the release of documents to continue, “only a few at a time.” Saying that it was evident someone wanted to maximize the embarrassment to the Vatican, he said that he was not surprised to see more documents released, and expected more in the future.

Nevertheless, the continuing series of leaks has clearly rattled Church officials, and journalists in Rome are writing breathlessly about a “crisis” in Vatican governance. The leaks are evidently intended to undermine confidence in Cardinal Tarcision Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State.

In one of the documents printed by La Repubblica, Cardinal Raymond Burke, the head of the Apostolic Signatura, complained to Cardinal Bertone that he had not been notified before the publication of a Vatican announcement that the Holy See would approve the liturgical norms of the Neocatechumenate Way. Cardinal Burke observed that the Congregation for Divine Worship, of which he is a member, had raised major concerns about the liturgical practices of the Neocatechumenate. Pope Benedict reportedly sided with Cardinal Burke, appending a handwritten note on a copy of the letter to say that the American prelate’s observations were “correct.” La Repubblica reported also receiving copies of two letters by the Pope’s secretary, Msgr. Georg Ganswein. Although the text of the letter had been blackened, the letterhead and the signature of the Pope’s private secretary showed that whoever delivered the correspondence to La Repubblica still had access to documents from the Pope’s private apartments.

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