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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Vatileaks journalist breaks silence to defend himself

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Heiliger Stuhl und "Vatileaks" - Es geht um die offenen Wunden der Kirche - Panorama - sueddeutsche.de

Concerning the open wounds of the Church
by Gianluigi Nuzzi

"Traitor," some call him. Because he has made public in his book "Sua Santità" operations that the Holy See would have rather have kept in the dark- failures in dealing with cases of sexual abuse, for example. The journalist and author Gianluigi Nuzzi tells the SZ why the publication of the Vatileaks will make the Church better.

Pope Benedict XVI is to meet Italy's President Giorgio Napolitano - and Monsignor Mamberti, the "foreign minister" of the Vatican Secretariat of State is preparing a note to Ratzinger. He cites a number of Italian laws, which from the perspective of the Vatican, which should be stopped, for example, about the equality rights granted within marriage and cohabitation. Or should the Pope say something about the sex scandal involving former Premier Silvio Berlusconi? The confidential message to Benedict XVI. discourages critical comments.

Does Pope Benedict XVI suffer under the burden of his office? Internal documents from the Vatican suggest this.

In February 2009, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged again that the Vatican should take a clear stance on the remarks of the SSPX Bishop, Richard Williamson regarding the Holocaust. Benedict XVI is piqued and hits the knuckles of those in the hierarchy of the Holy See who do not take a stand against the "interference" of the Chancellor's statement.

These are some of the documents and stories that have been leaked to me. They explain why the Vatican reacted angrily to their publication. But the reasons go deeper as to why the Roman Curia would now like to put my book on the Index, why they speak of "criminal activity" speaks, whenit is nothing other than the right to freedom of information. This book shows the shadowy zones and battles beyond the walls of the Vatican, whose combatants are mostly Italian cardinals and prelates.

The rules of transparency should also apply to the Church

It reveals the weakness of the Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, who attracts criticism on a wide front in the Vatican and beyond: from individual cardinals to the Superior General of the Jesuits, Adolfo Nicolàs who asks why money still plays such a central role in the actions of Vatican State. One involuntarily thinks of Monsignor Paul Marcinkus who in 1982 said during the scandal surrounding the death of banker Roberto Calvi, "The Church is not led with Hail Marys."

Marcinkus was right. There is no one who envisages a Franciscan church, which is relegated to the margins of society. But a church, where the rules of transparency apply, which makes public its income and expenditure, how it deals with money and the associated power – starting with the Vatican, where even today a large part of the balance sheets of its entities is secret.

Of course, there have to be non-public areas in each institution. But secrecy is the antechamber of the doubt and suspicion - and blackmail, if someone keeps a painful secret in order to profit from it.

Therefore, in the past year, some sources have bravely decided to break the seal of confidentiality. There are Christians, practicing Catholics who work or live in the Vatican and enjoy such confidence that they have access to confidential documents. They want to inform the public about intrigues and obscure events, conspiracies and critical points which Benedict XVI has faced in recent years.

Some call out: Scandal!

For example, there is the shocking confession of Father Alfredo Moreno, the secretary of Marcial Maciel in 2006 about the sexual abuse of the founder of the Legionaries of Christ who was banned from office. On 19 October 2011 at 9.30 clock Moreno meets the Secretary of the Pope . He admits to have destroyed documents about the Maciel atrocities. He reveals above all that his approach to Pope John Paul II was met with deaf ears, when he wanted to report these deeds in 2003 . Why remains a mystery. Moreno was a credible witness as he was for many years a faithful shadow of Maciel. So years had to pass before the scandal came to light.

There is also the background behind the compensation for victims of sexual abuse in the United States. In short, it's the documents concern the open wounds of the church.

Will the disclosure of internal documents improve the Catholic Church? Some say no and call out: Scandal! And assert out of their own interest or from a wrongly perceived loyalty, that the publication is a betrayal, directed against the Holy Father, against the faith or the church.

That's not true. It's not against the Pope, the faith or the church. It's about the truth, because only that will make the church better. Pope Benedict himself has said: "In a world in which lying is powerful, you suffer for the truth."

Not a book specifically against the Pope

My book "Sua Santità" is not a fictional book directed against the pope. It rather shows how stressful and difficult it is for Benedict to lead his church in the face of so many scandals, affairs, the chorus of personal interests that are presented to him day after day in the Apostolic Palace as the interest of the church. The Pope is, as we all know him: reserved, modest. As is clear from the documents, he suffers from the need to handle everything, yet still retain the guiding principle of the unity of the church.

So my attitude is similar to that of those people who have helped me. They too hope for a change for the better. "There are some moments of life when you decide if you are a man or not," said one of the informants. "The courage amounts to the difference to do and say what you feel is right." Their bravery consists in revealing certain secrets to the public, big and small stories that do not pass beyond the bronze door. "In fact, I am free only in this way," they add., "I relieve myself from the unbearable complicity of the one who is silent, although he knows."

The decision to publish, was not easy for me. But I believe that a journalist could not act differently. Never before have such authentic and relevant documents from the holy palaces been leaked to the outside. A journalist in this situation who believes in his vocation, publishes everything - even with the conscience of causing suffering, as has been shown by the Pontiff. Otherwise he would have to distil what is published and to destroy what is left in the drawer. But that has nothing to do with the profession of journalism. So I'll thank the little heroes of the book forever. Without the many who have given me papers and important documents, many, too many issues would have remained in the dark.

The journalist and author Gianluigi Nuzzi, 43, has in his book "Santità Sua" ("His Holiness") published secret documents from the Vatican .


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