Vatican Spokesperson Calls for Full Solidarity with the Pope

Emphasizes Importance of Unity While Investigation Moves Forward

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 31, 2012 ( Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., director of the Holy See Press Office, held a press conference yesterday regarding the publication of private documents stolen from the Vatican. The Pope’s personal assistant, Paolo Gabriele, has been arrested for the theft.

Fr. Lombardi strongly affirmed that rumors maintained by various media outlets of the pope’s possible resignation were baseless and have no foundation in reality. The Curia has expressed its solidarity and continues to work in full communion with Holy Father. «This is precisely the moment in which to demonstrate esteem and appreciation for the Holy Father and the service he carries out; to show full solidarity with him and thus, to demonstrate communion, unity, and coherence with how this situation is dealt with,» he said.

The Vatican spokesperson emphasized that it is important that communication regarding this sorrowful event for the Pope and the Church be inspired by rigorous criteria for the truth. «It seems to me,» he said, «that there is desire for truth and clarity, a desire for transparency that, although it will take time, continues forward. I thus honestly believe that we are trying to handle this new situation. We are seeking the truth, and trying to objectively understand what may have happened. First, however, it is necessary to be sure to have understood it, in respect for persons and the truth.»

Fr. Lombardi explained that it will be necessary to wait for a complete picture of the situation, since the investigations and formal questioning are still at a preliminary stage. The agencies involved are the Vatican magistrate and a Commission of Cardinals.

The director of the Holy See Press Office also explained that yesterday morning the defendant met with his lawyers who will probably request monitored surveillance or house arrest for their client. At the same time, he denied details published in the media such as that packets of documents prepared to be sent to specific recipients were found in Gabriele’s house. «The material found in the personal assistant’s possession is already being studied and catalogued,» he said.

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