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Vatican doctored photo of letter by Pope-emeritus Benedict

March 14, 2018

The Vatican has admitted that it doctored the photo of a letter from Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI, to obscure the fact that the former Pontiff had declined to read a series of books about the theology of Pope Francis.

The Vatican had released portions of the former Pope’s letter, in which he wrote that Pope Francis had a sound theological training and remarked on the “interior continuity” of their pontificates. But the photo of that letter, distributed to reporters, blurred the following paragraph, in which Benedict said that because of “other obligations” he would not read the books that had been sent to him.

The letter from Benedict was addressed to Msgr. Dario Edoardo Viganò, the head of the Secretariat for Communications, who had sent the books to the former Pope in January, evidently hoping for a favorable review. Pope-emeritus Benedict responded in February. Msgr. Vigano made that response public on March 13, reading portions of Benedict’s letter at a news conference.

The deliberate doctoring of a photo is an offense against ordinary journalistic standards.

(The original AP story contains an obvious error, saying that the Vatican acknowledged the manipulation on “Thursday” although the AP account was released on Wednesday evening, Rome time.)


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  • Posted by: lschwarzenberger6939 - Mar. 18, 2018 8:49 PM ET USA

    According to the WSJ, Benedict also noted that one of the authors involved in the project had launched "virulent", "anti-papist" attacks against his papacy and teaching and he was surprized the Vatican had chosen the theologian to be included in the 11-volume "The Theology of Pope Francis"

  • Posted by: Retired01 - Mar. 15, 2018 4:25 PM ET USA

    Fake news from the Vatican.

  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Mar. 15, 2018 1:24 AM ET USA

    Exactly what you would expect from Pope Francis' cronies.

  • Posted by: FredC - Mar. 14, 2018 6:31 PM ET USA

    The person(s) who did the doctoring should be fired. St. Thomas Aquinas warned that a society cannot continue to exist if it tolerates lying.