Cardinal Sodano downplays significance of conflicts within Vatican
June 06, 2012
Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the former Vatican Secretary of State, has rejected the notion that there are sharp divisions within the Roman Curia.
Cardinal Sodano told the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano that the media is spreading “disinformation” about the Vatican by interpreting an unprecedented release of confidential documents as an indication of severe internal conflicts. He argued that the documents which have come to light show only “a diversity of opinions” among Vatican officials.
"It is understandable that with different personalities, different nationalities, different cultures and different social sensitivities, there may be different judgments on different working methods," the Italian prelate said. He also suggested with nearly 5,000 people working at the Vatican, it is not surprising that “there may be someone who is not carrying out their duties.”
Cardinal Sodano’s comments seemed clearly to understate the extent of the “Vatileaks” scandal, since the workers who have leaked confidential documents to the press have clearly intended to embarrass other Vatican officials. Moreover, while many people are involved in Vatican correspondence, only a handful would have had access to some of the private papal documents that have been made available to the Italian press.
Although he stepped down as Secretary of State in 2006, Cardinal Sodano--who remains Dean of the College of Cardinals at the age of 84--still retains considerable influence within the Vatican. Veteran Vatican-watchers have noted that officials loyal to the former Secretary of State have shown signs of impatience with his successor, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. Many of the documents that have been released put Cardinal Bertone in an unfavorable light.
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