“Newspaper articles have been published in recent days in Italy and Germany on the subject of investigations into the leaking of reserved Vatican documents, articles which hint 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 honour of the people concerned, who have served the Holy Father faithfully for many years”.
These words are contained in a note issued this morning by Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., who adds: “The fact that the results of the investigations have not yet been made known by the authorities concerned, in no way legitimises the publication of unfounded and false interpretations and theories. It is not this kind of information that the public has the right to know”.
At the same time, in a statement transmitted by Vatican Radio, Fr. Lombardi notes that he has “often repeated that being called before a commission in the course of its investigations in no way means that a person is a suspect. It is evident that the three people mentioned in the article [Ingrid Stampa, Cardinal Paolo Sardi and Bishop Joseph Clemens] 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 seventy-five, 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)”.