Fr. Lombardi: Indictment Will Help People Reflect on Loyalty

Holy See Press Office Director Releases Statement on Charges Against Paolo Gabriele

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By Junno Arocho

VATICAN CITY, AUG. 14, 2012 ( Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, director of the Holy See Press Office released a statement today regarding yesterday’s indictment charges against Paolo Gabriele and Claudio Sciarpelleti.

Gabriele was formally charged with aggravated theft of private documents pertaining to the Holy and members of the Curia while Sciarpelleti was charged with aiding and abetting Gabriele after the fact.

In his statement, Fr. Lombardi emphasized that while the indictment was passed in connection to the publication of the confidential documents, they are not a final say in what is still an ongoing investigation.

“The charge list does not entertain the notion that there might have a more complex confluence of events and relationships – a possibility that the judges and a select committee of cardinals were called to investigate appropriately,” the statement read.

The release of the indictment, according to Fr. Lombardi, “was a courageous, and rather unusual act, given the Vatican’s usual practices.”

While speaking on Pope Benedict XVI’s respect for the judiciary, the director of the Holy See Press Office compared the release of the charges against Gabriele to the Vatican’s cooperation with the assessors of Moneyval.

“Perhaps the comparison is bold, but it occurs to me that, similarly to the way in which cooperation with the independent assessors at Moneyval is helping the Vatican to grow in the direction of economic and financial transparency, so might recognition of the role of the judiciary help today to grow in the direction of transparency and consistency in communication — and in the discussion of other issues not strictly ecclesiastical,” the statement read.

Fr. Lombardi concluded his statement saying that while the judicial process can’t solve all the problems associated with the scandal, the indictment “might bring people to reflect in a new way on the seriousness of the issues of loyalty to the institutions that they serve, the values of trust and of confidential communication, of solidarity and of the responsibility for institutional unity.”

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