Vatican Seeks to Defend Pope's Right to Privacy

Calls Publication of Confidential Documents a ‘Criminal Act’

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 22, 2012 ( The Vatican is trying to protect the Pope’s right to privacy after more Holy See documents and private correspondence between the Pope and his collaborators have been published.

«The fresh publication of Holy See documents and of private documents of the Holy Father no longer appears as a questionable — though obviously defamatory — journalistic initiative, but clearly assumes the characteristics of a criminal act,» a Monday statement from the Vatican press office asserted.

On Saturday, Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi released a book titled «His Holiness,» which publicizes confidential correspondence to and from the Holy Father and his personal secretary.

This was an added affront, after a previous series of leaked documents, which led the Pontiff in April to establish a commission of cardinals to investigate the issue.

«The Holy Father and a number of his collaborators, as well as the senders of messages addressed to him, have had their individual rights to privacy and freedom of correspondence violated,» the Vatican lamented in the statement Monday. «The Holy See will continue to investigate the various aspects of these violations of the privacy and dignity of the Holy Father – both as an individual an as the supreme authority of the Church and of Vatican City State – and will take the steps necessary to ensure that those responsible for the theft, handling and release of secret information, and the commercial use of private documentation, illegitimately acquired and held, answer to justice for their acts. To this end it will, if necessary, request international collaboration.»

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