Published: 20 May, 2012, 10:11
Edited: 20 May, 2012, 20:41
The Vatican is threatening to take legal action against those responsible for publishing a new book of leaked internal documents. The book sheds light on power struggles and corruption inside the Holy See and the thinking of its embattled top banker.
Pope Benedict XVI has already appointed a commission of cardinals to investigate the “Vatileaks” scandal. It erupted earlier this year with the publication of leaked memos alleging corruption and mismanagement in Holy See affairs and internal squabbles over its efforts to comply with international anti-money-laundering norms.
The publication Saturday of “His Holiness” by Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, added fuel to the fire, reproducing confidential letters and memos to and from Pope Benedict and his personal secretary which, according to the Vatican, violated the pope’s right to privacy.
Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said in a statement Saturday the book was an “objectively defamatory”work that “clearly assumes characters of a criminal act.” He warned the Holy See would get to the bottom of who “stole” the documents, who received them and who published them. He warned the Holy See would seek international cooperation in its quest for justice, presumably with Italian magistrates.
The Vatican had already warned of legal action against Nuzzi after he published letters in January from the former second-highest Vatican administrator to the pope. In those letters the administrator begged not to be transferred for having exposed alleged corruption that cost the Holy See millions of euros in higher contract prices. The prelate, Monsignor Carlo Maria Vigano, is now the Vatican’s US ambassador.
Nuzzi, author of Vatican SpA, a 2009 volume laying out shady dealings of the Vatican Bank based on leaked documents, said he was approached by sources inside the Vatican with the trove of new documents. Most of them are of fairly recent vintage and many of them painting the Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, in a negative light.
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