Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi SJ has strongly denied Italian newspaper reports, that a cardinal is among those being investigated over the “Vatileaks” scandal.
“I categorically deny that any cardinal, Italian or otherwise, is a suspect,” Lombardi said.
Universe Rome correspondent Gerard O’Connell reports on Twitter that Lombardi also denied there was a link between Vatileaks and Gotti Tedeschi, the deposed head of the Vatican bank.
Reports however continue to emerge in the Italian media of at least one Cardinal’s involvement in Vatileaks.
“There isn’t just one brain behind the operation, there are several,” the whistleblower told la Republica’s Marco Ansaldo.
“There are cardinals, private secretaries, monsignors and the small fry. Men and women, priests and laypeople. The whistleblowers even include cardinals,” the whistleblower said at a lunch meeting in one of Rome’s northern suburbs.
“The Vatican Secretary of State cannot admit that and has the small fry arrested, like “Paoletto” (as Paolo Gabriele is affectionately known), the Pope’s valet. Who has got nothing to do with it apart from having passed on some letters,” he said.
The whistleblower said the group is concerned at the power accumulated by Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone,
“Those doing it are acting to protect the Pope.”
Realising he has to protect himself, Pope Benedict has resorted to surrounding himself with five people, whom he knows he can trust, so-called the rapporteurs, his ‘secret agents.’
The role of these trusted people is to tell the Pope who are his friends and who his enemies.
“There is one physically collecting the evidence. Another preparing the ground, and the other two make sure all this is possible,” he said.
Despite Lombardi’s official comments, the whistleblower said there is a link between Vatileaks and the dismissal of Vatican Bank’s former president, Ettore Gotti.
The whistleblower blames Bertone for the dismissal.
“Gotti didn’t answer to anyone, only the Pope, sending Benedict memos to describe the situation inside the IOR (Institute for Religious Works, the official name of the Vatican bank). Including the failed operations, like the law against money laundering or the takeover of the San Raffaele hospital and research centre. Bertone gets jealous, accuses Gotti and decides to oust him. When the Pope heard about Gotti’s dismissal last Thursday, he started to cry, “My friend Ettore!”
Lombardi identified Vatileaks as the worst crisis of Pope Benedict’s pontificate, adding it had hurt the faith of Catholics in their Church.
He said the pope was following the case closely but calmly and that talk of an internal power struggle behind the case had been exaggerated.
News category: World.