Giacomo GaleazziVatican Insider
The Commander of the Vatican Gendarmerie was hard at work Sunday. The Vatican leak inquiry did not end with the arrest of the Pope’s butler, Paolo Gabriele so the papal police offices are busy sifting through the “investigative material” that will help find the potential accomplices and individuals behind the leaks. There are no immediate plans for arrests but not one of the Curia’s members believed the Pope’s butler is the only one responsible. “The affair is not over yet. This is just the beginning,” they said. Behind the Vatican walls there is a growing belief that “Paoletto’s” arrest was not the finishing line but a starting point.
During his homily for Pentecost Sunday the Pope sent out a warning against any manoeuvres or clashes taking place behind his back in the Curia: the Holy See is plunging into a Babel-like chaos in which there is a growing “sense of mistrust, suspicion and mutual fear among men, to the point that they are becoming dangerous to one another.” There was a sense of distress in Benedict XVI’s words as he called for “unity, harmony and truth.” The three cardinals that direct the actions of the Vatican police (Herranz, Tomko and De Giorgi) seem convinced that that there is someone higher up, a “steering committee” that is polling the strings in the “Vatileaks” affair. If the outside world is given the impression that two different powers and double standards exist within the Holy See, this would be harmful to its image. That is, if tough measures are adopted against lay employees suspected of betraying their oath of secrecy but Church spies are simply removed and sent to carry out their ministry away from Rome instead of being placed behind bars. Meanwhile, the Pope’s butler seems to be changing his tune during questioning. Last Wednesday he was found to be in illegal possession of a large quantity of confidential letters. “Paoletto” seems to be following the advice of his lawyer, Carlo Fusco – a member of the Focolare movement and postulator for the causes of saints in the Vatican – and abandoning the silence strategy adopted at the beginning. He is now answering questions regarding the serious charges being made against him, as the investigation moves from the preliminary phase led by the Promoter of Justice Nicola Picardi, to a formal phase led by the investigative magistrate of the Vatican Tribunal, Pier Antonio Bonnet. Investigators are keeping a list of potential moles under observation. About fifteen individuals are suspected of tampering with the top secret material that was leaked to mass media and reveals feuds and scandals going on within the Vatican. The Pope’s butler is still being held on charges of aggravated burglary and could soon be joined by other disloyal servants of the Holy See. The positions of a number of individuals are being assessed but the definitive culprits have not yet been found. It is significant, however, that following an initial period of complete silence, now, the alleged poison pen letter writer is now talking. Authorities are now examining the possibility of other Vatican office employees and prelates being involved. The involvement of prelates is a plausible possibility given the fact that the investigative commission (headed by Opus Dei cardinal Julian Herranz) that was set up by the Pope to shed light on the Vatican document leak case is made up of cardinals and they are the only ones authorised to investigate on an equal level. One thing that led authorities to suspect the involvement of the Pope’s butler was the publication of a recent document regarding the Ratzinger Foundation, in the book “Sua Santità” (His Holiness) by Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi. This document was not supposed to be filed in the Holy See’s archives as others were and so could only have come from the Pope’s desk or that of his secretary Fr. Georg.