Vatican openness in butler case not enough, critics say
The Church has been plagued by controversy in recent years, from allegations of money laundering and criminal associations to child sex abuse, and has been repeatedly accused by critics of covering up its sins to protect insiders.
To prove its commitment to openness, the Vatican marked its decision to charge butler Paolo Gabriele for leaking secret papers to the media by releasing the full statements made by the magistrate and others concerned.
Details were also revealed about another Holy See employee, who has been charged with aiding and abetting Gabriele. Only the names of the witnesses who were interrogated during the inquiry were obscured for the sake of due process.
“A publication this sweeping and complete is a courageous and rather unusual act for the Vatican,” said Holy See spokesman Federico Lombardi.
“It is a concrete step… to confront problems rigorously and transparently, without shortcuts or secretiveness,” he added.
Gabriele risks up to six years in prison if found guilty of “aggravated theft.” He admits stealing but says he was driven to leak the private documents to the press to draw the pope’s attention to the Holy See’s murky goings-on.
Frustrated by the “series of unresolved mysteries” and poisonous atmosphere in a state ripe for scandal, the 46-year-old smuggled out letters and documents regarding corruption, the clerical paedophilia and an internal power struggle. [more]