Papal Spokesman Laments False Rumors

Report Into Stolen Documents Has Been Presented to the Holy Father

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By Junno Arocho

VATICAN CITY, JULY 23, 2012 ( Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press Office, shot down rumors that have been circulated throughout newspapers in Italy and Germany involving the investigation into the leaking of Vatican documents. The rumors hinted at «serious suspicions of complicity on the part of certain persons close to the Holy Father.»

«The Secretariat of State expresses its firm and total disapproval of those publications, which are not based on objective criteria and seriously damage the honor of the people concerned, who have served the Holy Father faithfully for many years,» Fr. Lombardi said in a statement released by the Vatican. 

«The fact that the results of the investigations have not yet been made known by the authorities concerned, in no way legitimizes the publication of unfounded and false interpretations and theories,» he asserted. «It is not this kind of information that the public has the right to know.»

Fr. Lombardi also released a statement transmitted by Vatican Radio where he noted that a person called before the investigating commission is in no way suspect to the crime. The people mentioned in the newspaper articles were Ingrid Stampa, a papal housekeeper employed with the Secretary of State, Cardinal Paolo Sardi, the retired vice camerlengo, and Bishop Joseph Clemens, the secretary for the Pontifical Council for the Laity. The papal spokesperson reiterated that «many have been called to appear, but this says nothing about their being suspected of shared responsibility or ‘complicity,'»

«As regards their having been ‘dismissed’ from office, Cardinal Sardi completed his service at the Secretariat of State when he reached the age of 75, and Ingrid Stampa continues to work in the Secretariat of State. As for Bishop Clemens, he has been secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity for a number of years, and it is not true that he received a letter from the Pope such as the one described in the article in ‘Die Welt’ (a letter to which the Italian newspaper ‘La Repubblica’ makes only indirect reference),» the statement read. 

The news comes as the Holy See has confirmed that Paolo Gabriele, the papal assistant accused of leaking the documents, has been granted provisory liberty by Professor Piero Bonnet, the investigating magistrate of the Court of the Vatican City State. Gabriele will be granted house arrest «with the making of suitable guarantees.» He will live in his home at the Vatican with his family and communication with others will be limited. 

Closing remarks are set to be delivered by the promoter for justice within the next few days to determine whether the investigation findings merit a trial or an acquittal.

The commission of cardinals delivered their findings in the investigation to the Holy Father last week.

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