Leaks undermine pope's Vatican clean-up

2012-02-13 22:34

Vatican City - A top Cardinal condemned on Monday the leaking of confidential Vatican documents, which he said were undoing the pope's efforts to clean up the its image after a spate of sex abuse scandals.

"Those who do these things provoke confusion among the Catholic faithful. They damage the Church's image," said Cardinal Walter Kasper, head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

"And this when there is a pope working to renew the Church," in the wake of a torrent of sex-abuse cases against Catholic priests around in world. "When he learnt about the abuse, he wanted to clean it up," he said.

Kasper's comments followed the publication on Friday by the left-leaning Il Fatto Quotidiano of a confidential document dated December 30 warning the Vatican of an unspecified plot to assassinate Pope Benedict XVI.

Kasper dismissed the reports as "ridiculous" but warned that the Church's image was at risk from a series of rumours, leaks and corruption allegations in what experts believe is a bitter power struggle in the Vatican.

The Holy See's press office has been forced into overdrive against several recent Italian media reports centring mainly around the activities of the Vatican bank and Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

The fact that apparently genuine Vatican documents have been leaked points to growing tensions against Bertone's management style within the Roman Curia.

"Perhaps they hope to damage the Secretary of State, and hit other people as well... but this is not the way to behave. There is a bad style" at work within the corridors of power at the Vatican, Kasper said.

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