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Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 18 January 2022

Here's a secret only the new pope will see...

The Vatileaks enquiry report will be for his eyes only.

Cardinals - from whose ranks the next pope will be chosen - at the Vatican.
Cardinals - from whose ranks the next pope will be chosen - at the Vatican.
Image: AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia

WE WON’T KNOW the identity of the next head of the Roman Catholic church until next month.

We do, however, already know one of the secrets which will be bestowed on him. The Vatican said today that a secret report on a leaks scandal in 2012 which revealed intrigue and corruption in the Church would be shown exclusively to the future pope, not to voting cardinals.

“The Holy Father has decided that the documents, which only he has seen, will be exclusively available to his successor,” Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said at a press conference.

Italian media reports had suggested cardinals set to vote in a new pope once Benedict XVI has resigned would be given access to the report.

The Pope’s former butler was convicted last year of leaking sensitive documents in what became known as the ‘Vatileaks’ scandal. Paolo Gabriele was sentenced to 18 months in jail (in an Italian prison, as the Vatican itself doesn’t have a jailhouse).

The documents which Gabriele accessed included letters from cardinals and politicians and papers which Pope Benedict XVI had marked as “to be destroyed”.  Gabriele had claimed that his purpose with leaking some of the information to an Italian journalist had been to tackle alleged corruption at the Vatican, and said he believed Benedict had been ill-informed and possibly manipulated.

- © AFP, 2013

- additional reporting by Susan Daly

Pope’s butler gets 18 months in jail for stealing secret Vatican documents>

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