Sunday, May 27, 2012

VatiLeaks Exposes Rot and Corruption in the Vatican

Based on all I have read on the still ongoing sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church and the secret Vatican orders dating from the 1960's commanding secrecy and the cover up of sexual abuse by priests, I have admittedly come to see the Vatican and the Church hierarchy in many ways to be a worldwide criminal enterprise.  Some may say that judgment is too strong, but new secret documents leaked from the inner most circles in at the Vatican suggest that hypocrisy reigns supreme as do money laundering, corruption and blackmail.  What makes it all even better is the fact that the information apparently was leaked by Pope Benedict XVI's butler who had access to Benedict's private papers.  A piece in The Daily Beast looks at the developing scandal and the arrest of the butler who is being held by the Vatican's secretive judicial system that sounds like something out of the Inquisition of old.  The simple truth appears to be that the Vatican and the Church hierarchy believe that they are above the law.  They can do as they wish and no one is supposed to challenge them.  Here are highlights from the article: 

The pope's butler Paolo Gabriele was arrested in Vatican City on Friday, suspected of leaking hundreds of documents to Gianluigi Nuzzi, author of His Holiness: The Secret Papers of Benedict XVI. Sources say Garbriele had been under surveillance for weeks and was caught red-handed with documents he should not have had. Papal spokesman Federico Lombardi confirmed to Italian news service Ansa that Gabriele had been found "in illegal possession of confidential documents."

For a year Nuzzi was a conduit for sensitive documents that surfaced from deep within the Curia Romana, which he highlighted in his Italian television show The Untouchables. This week, he published the documents in full in a book called Sua SantitàLe Carte Segrete di Benedetto XVI or Your Holiness: The Secret Papers ofBenedict XVI. He says he kept the documents on a USB key sewn into his neckties, and he worried constantly that someone might try to harm him or steal them back.

Since his first television program, VatiLeaks has made a major impact in Rome. The reopening of the criminal investigation into the disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi, the 15-year-old daughter of a Vatican employee who disappeared 30 years ago, has come to symbolize the VatiLeaks scandal and a small victory for transparency in the Roman Catholic Church.

He says he thinks his sources gave him the documents out of duty after witnessing years of lies and manipulation by the church. “Since Karol Wojtyla [Pope John Paul II] died, I started putting copies of documents aside that I came across in my job at the Vatican,” Nuzzi quotes “Maria” in the book. “The truth emerging in the newspapers and the official discourse within the Holy See was so different, the hypocrisy reigned supreme, and the scandals were multiplying. I’m not talking only about the pedophilia and murder cases like the killing of the Swiss Guard and the disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi, but about money laundering, corruption, and threats.

The heavily footnoted book has photos of the documents and transcripts of the letters, faxes, and internal memorandums between Pope Benedict XVI and key Italian politicians and world leaders. Some of the documents are titillating, like secret correspondence from Dino Boffo, the former editor of the Catholic newspaper Avvenire, asking a high-ranking cardinal and the pope to intervene against editor Gain Maria Vian of the rival Catholic newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, who had leaked allegations that Boffo had harassed the wife of his gay lover.

The book also contains ample reference to the troubled American church, which was nearly bankrupted by legal costs and payments to victims of pedophile priests. In spite of its strategic importance for the Roman Catholic Church, the American church was considered a purgatory in terms of papal appointments. No one wanted to be “sent to Washington” to deal with the crises, which included the pedophilia scandal, the liberal American nuns, and liberal government policies that contradicted key church teachings. Nuzzi was given a number of documents referencing multi-million-dollar transfers to bail out the American diocese, including $10 million sent to the Wilmington, Del., Federal Bankruptcy Court, which shows for the first time just how much money the American church has cost the Holy See.

Anyone who crossed the wrong cardinals in Rome risked being sent to oversee the troubled American diocese. For example, Cardinal Carlo Maria Vigano had uncovered widespread corruption in the Vatican accounting department and wrote a series of letters to the pope pleading that he consider making high-level changes to stem the money laundering, nepotism, and embezzlement going on in the church. Soon after his initial complaints, he received notice of his impending transfer to Washington, D.C., three years before the end of his tenure.

But the pope is not amused. He has appointed a trio of heavy-handed prelates led by Opus Dei leader Julian Herranz to stop the leaks—one way or another. “The latest publication of documents of the Holy See and private documents of the Holy Father can no longer be considered a questionable—and objectively defamatory—journalistic initiative, but clearly assumes the character of a criminal act,” said Father Federico Lombardi, the chief Vatican spokesman. For Nuzzi, that just proves he did the right thing. “What was I going to do, sit here on all these documents?” he asks. “Don’t you think Catholics who give millions to the church deserve to know the truth?” Even when that truth is stranger than fiction.

I've said it before and I will say it again: how can anyone truly moral remain affiliated in any way with theRoman Catholic Church and its cesspool like leadership?

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