Pope Benedict got no rest on Sunday from a leaks scandal when an Italian newspaper published documents showing that his butler was not the only person in possession of confidential correspondence indicating a Vatican in disarray.
Benedict, 85, ended a weekend trip to Italy’s industrial and financial capital Milan with a closing mass for an international gathering in which he praised traditional Catholic family values and re-stated his opposition to gay marriage.
But in its Sunday edition, the Rome newspaper La Repubblica published documents it said it had received anonymously after the arrest of the pope’s butler on May 23.
A note received by the newspaper said there were “hundreds more” documents and that the butler, Paolo Gabriele, was just a scapegoat.
The furore over the leaked correspondence, which shows power-hungry cardinals and scheming within the walls of the city state, has gripped the Vatican just as it was recovering from a long-running scandal over sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in the United States, Ireland and other countries.
One letter, dated January 16, was sent by Cardinal Raymond Burke, an American who heads a Vatican department, to the pope’s secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.
Burke complains that a decision regarding a liturgical matter was taken without consulting his office, which is responsible for such matters.
The person who sent Repubblica the documents also provided two letters signed by the pope’s private secretary, Monsignor Georg Ganswein. The newspaper said those letters had everything but the letterhead and the signature whited out.
The newspaper said that in the note accompanying the documents, the person who sent them said the contents had been whited out “so as not to offend the Holy Father” but threatened to reveal the contents. [More]