‘Vatileaks’ investigators to meet with resigning Pope Benedict XVI

A+
A
A-

Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing during his last Angelus noon prayer, from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter’s Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. Benedict XVI gave his pontificate’s final Sunday blessing from his studio window to the cheers of tens of thousands of people packing St. Peter’s Square, but sought to reassure the faithful that he wasn’t abandoning the church by retiring to spend his final years in prayer. AP PHOTO/DOMENICO STINELLIS

VATICAN CITY—Investigators into the so-called “Vatileaks” scandal were to meet with Pope Benedict XVI on Monday, two months after submitting their secret report into the leaks of papal documents to a journalist.

The three retired cardinals, Julian Herranz of Spain, Slovakian Jozef Tomko and Italian Salvatore De Giorgi, were set to see the pope at 11:00 am, according to the Vatican’s daily program.

The meeting comes just three days before Benedict steps down following his shock resignation announcement on February 11.

The 85-year-old German pope cited his age as the main factor in his nearly unprecedented decision, but observers said Vatileaks may have been the last straw in a scandal-ridden papacy.

The run-up to next month’s conclave to elect a successor to Benedict has seen new scandals and allegations emerge, including claims of “inappropriate behavior” on the part of one of the cardinal electors, Keith O’Brien of Britain.

Already four other members of the conclave are associated with the paedophile priest scandals that have dominated Benedict’s eight years on the papal throne.

The Vatican’s Secretariat of State — the government of the Catholic Church — took the unusual step on Saturday of issuing a statement slamming “completely false news stories” as an attempt to influence the secret conclave.

Italy’s Panorama news weekly and the Repubblica daily had said on Thursday that the cardinals’ report to the pope contained allegations of corruption and of blackmail attempts against gay Vatican clergy, as well as favouritism based on gay relationships.

The report was meant to be strictly for the pope’s eyes only, but Italian media have said the cardinals will also share their conclusions with other cardinals before the pope’s departure on Thursday.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi on Saturday dismissed the media reports as “gossip, disinformation and sometimes calumny”.

In a statement on Vatican Radio’s website, Lombardi said: “There are people who are trying to take advantage of this moment of surprise and disorientation of weak souls to sow confusion and discredit the Church and its government.”

The three cardinals — all over 80 and thus not entitled to vote in the conclave — questioned dozens of Vatican officials, both laypeople and clergy, in parallel with a police probe.

They presented the pope with their final report in December, just before Benedict pardoned his former butler Paolo Gabriele, who had been jailed for leaking the papal memos, while banishing him from the Vatican.

Suspicions linger that more people were involved.

A Vatican communications aide, Greg Burke, said in an interview published Monday that the media “could try” to influence the conclave, adding that “some can be truly odious”.

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • UrHONOR

    PARA QUE pa…..di ba kinausap na siya ng god?  Tama na yon.  Si god ang dapat kausapin ng mga imbistigador, di ba?  :)

    • imnotoverityet

      pwedeng pakilinaw ang koment mo, 

      • UrHONOR

        Bat op kors, pwedeng-pwede para sa kabayan!

  • Jomex

    i want to see the Vatican go down!

  • palakasantayo

    I want Cardinal Tagle to be the next Pope and let us tranfer Vatican to Philippines….

    • UrHONOR

      YON ngang mga iskwaters hindi kayang asikasuhin, Vatican pa na PUNOng-PUNO ng mga batikang badingistas?

      • palakasantayo

        Maybe, the wealth of the Vatican could solve our squatter problem.

      • UrHONOR

        HINDI lang iskwater problem……lahat ng utang natin mababaaran natin…internal and eternal!  Mamamatay na ang kapapanganak ngayon sa pagbibilang ng pera ng TNL na Vat mula ng ipinanganak siya, hindi pa nya kayang tapusin bilangin ang pera hanggang sa kanyng kamatayan.

  • geminimind

    We can always condemn evil but you cannot condemn the truth.

    • UrHONOR

      YOU can not condemn what you do not know.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94