Vatican a victim of blackmail - official

2012-06-06 20:50
Pope Benedict XVI blesses pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square, upon his arrival for his weekly general audience . (Andreas Solaro, AFP)

Pope Benedict XVI blesses pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square, upon his arrival for his weekly general audience . (Andreas Solaro, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Vatican City - The Vatican is being subjected to "blackmail", a spokesperson said on Wednesday, as Pope Benedict XVI's butler was questioned for a second day on charges of stealing confidential papal papers.

Father Federico Lombardi was reacting to an anonymous letter published by the La Repubblica daily earlier this week which called for the resignation of two top Vatican officials and said the butler was only "a scapegoat".

"It is a serious threat. I think the word 'blackmail' would be a way of defining it," Lombardi told reporters at a special briefing on a scandal over leaks of sensitive documents that has gripped the Vatican for months.

The author of the letter had threatened to make public more documents unless Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone and the pope's secretary Georg Gaenswein resigned, and accused them of being responsible for the scandal.

Prison

The pope's butler, Paolo Gabriele, 46, risks up to six years in prison for stealing documents found in his home and is being held in the Vatican.

His alleged crime is as yet unexplained and some Vatican watchers say he is only a small part of a broader plot at the heart of the Catholic Church.

Gabriele, who was arrested on May 23, had a first round of questioning on Tuesday in the presence of a judge, his defence and the Vatican prosecutor.

Documents allegedly stolen by Gabriele, including sensitive memos about the Catholic Church's handling of child abuse scandals and of accusations of money laundering, have been published by Italian newspapers and in a book.

Several Vatican watchers say the leaks are aimed at undermining Bertone, a powerful and divisive figure who is the Vatican's second in command.

 

Read more on:    roman catholic church  |  vatican city  |  religion

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Top 10 richest musicians of all time

Check out the gallery to find out who they are!

 
 

Luxury living

10 of the most expensive things that will leave your jaw hanging!
Seven of the most expensive children's toys ever made
5 millionaires turned murderers
The youngest billionaires in the world and how they made it
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency towards setting your expectations too high which will result in disappointment. Try not to let your thoughts...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.