Vatican Spokesman Calls for Calm, Clear Thinking

Responds to Series of Leaked Memos Causing Italian Media Uproar

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 14, 2012 ( The director of the Vatican press office advises remaining calm, as a series of leaked Vatican documents has created something of a media storm in Italy.

In a statement released by Vatican Radio on Monday, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi said: «Nowadays we must all have strong nerves, because no one can be surprised at anything. The American administration was affected by Wikileaks, now the Vatican too has its disclosures, its leaked documents, which tend to create confusion and bewilderment, and to throw a bad light on the Vatican, the governance of the Church and, more broadly, on the Church herself.»

«We must, then, remain calm and keep our nerve, make use of reason, something which not all media outlets tend to do,» he suggested.

Father Lombardi went on to clarify, «The documents in question are of different kinds and importance, drawn up at various times and for differing situations.»

Distinguishing the issues

He then mentioned the issues the notes have regarded, including the economic management of the governing body of Vatican City State, current juridical and legislative questions, («about which it is quite normal that there should be contrasting opinions,») and even «delirious and incomprehensible reports about plots against the Pope’s life.»

«Yet, putting them all together helps to create confusion,» Father Lombardi lamented. «Serious reporting should be capable of distinguishing the issues and understanding their differing importance.»

The Jesuit said that it is «very sad» that documents are leaked «in order to create confusion.»

«Both sides bear responsibility: firstly the suppliers of documents of this kind, but also those who undertake to use them for purposes that certainly have nothing to do with pure love of truth,» he stated. «We must, therefore, stand firm, not allowing ourselves to be swallowed up by the vortex of confusion, which is what ill-intentioned people want, and remaining capable of using our reason.»

At stake

The spokesman reflected that «according to an ancient expression of human and spiritual wisdom — the emergence of more powerful attacks is a sign that something important is at stake.»

He then went on to note the Church’s advances in the sexual abuse crisis and its commitment to ensure economic transparency in Vatican institutions.

«If many people insist on attacking us, the issue is obviously important,» he observed. «Whoever thinks he is discouraging the Pope and his collaborators in their commitment is mistaken.»

Father Lombardi concluded with this comment: «As for the issue of the supposed power struggles in view of the next conclave, I would invite everyone to note that all the Pontiffs elected during the last hundred years have been people of exalted and unquestioned spiritual merit. Cardinals have naturally sought, and still seek, to elect someone who deserves the respect of the people of God, someone who can serve humankind in our time with great moral and spiritual authority. Reading these events as an internal power struggle depends to a large extent on the moral coarseness of those who provoke them and those who see them as such, people often incapable of seeing anything else. Fortunately, those who believe in Jesus Christ know that — whatever may be written in today’s newspapers — the true concerns of those with positions of responsibility in the Church are the serious problems facing the men and women of today and tomorrow. Not for nothing do we also believe in, and speak of, the assistance of the Holy Spirit.»

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