Vatican threatens to sue over book
“The Vatican has denounced as ‘criminal’ a new book of leaked internal documents that shed light on power struggles inside the Holy See and the inner workings of its embattled bank, and warned that it would take legal action against those responsible,” according to this report in the Huffington Post.
A scandal, dubbed “Vatileaks,” broke out earlier this year when memos where leaked “alleging corruption and mismanagement in Holy See affairs and internal squabbles over its efforts to comply with international anti-money laundering norms,” according to the report. Pope Benedict XVI has appointed a commission of cardinals to investigate those leaks.
The situation for the Vatican has only worsened with the publication of the book His Holiness by Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi.
Among the leaks:
Much of the documentation is fairly Italy-centric: about a 2009 scandal over the ex-editor of the newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference, a never-before-known dinner between Benedict and Italy’s president, and even a 2011 letter from Italy’s pre-eminent talk show host Bruno Vespa to the pope enclosing a check for (EURO)10,000 for his charity work – and asking for a private audience in exchange.
But there are international leaks as well, including diplomatic cables from Vatican embassies from Jerusalem to Cameroon. Some concern the conclusions of the pope’s delegate the disgraced Legion of Christ religious order in a memo to the pope last fall. (He warned that the financial situation of the order, beset by a scandal over its pedophile founder, “while not grave, is serious and pressing.”)
A Vatican spokesman says the work “clearly assumes characters of a criminal act,” and that the Holy See would “get to the bottom of who ‘stole’ the documents, who received them and who published them.” He warned further that “the Holy See would seek international cooperation in its quest for justice, presumably with Italian magistrates.”
For his part, author Nuzzi, who has written previously about the Vatican bank, also using leaked documents, says “he was approached by sources inside the Vatican with the trove of new documents.”
Valerie Merians is the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House.