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Federico Lombardi publishes a book on freedom of press and the case of Vatileaks 2


Father Federico Lombardi published this book about one of the major news stories that gave him the most headaches during his time as Vatican spokesman: the Vatileaks 2 case. The court case dealt with the leak of private documents from the Vatican

Former Vatican spokesman
"The goal of the book is to give a proper understanding of the inner workings of the Vatican judcial system. Secondly, to give reliable documentation of how the issue of freedom of the press has been addressed in this context”. 

The book, co-authored by journalist Massimiliano Menichetti, recounts the proceedings against Msgr. Angel Vallejo Balda, his associate Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, his secretary and two Italian journalists. 

The trial ended in July 2016 with Msgr. Vallejo Balda condemened to serve jail time. Chaouqui was given a suspended sentence and the others were acquitted. 

Former Vatican spokesman
"To say that there will no longer be any leaks of reserved documents from the Vatican, this is a prophecy that I absolutely do not feel comfortable making I must say honestly. I can only hope. It would sadden me if it happens, but in this world in which we live in, it would not surprise me.”

Author, "Vatileaks 2”
"The risk is in cannibalizing the event in order to get a scoop, to publish first, to be able to tell something, to become the defense lawyer, to become the judge who either condemns or acquits. That is, the appropriation of a fact that affects the lives of others. I tried to include this in my book, I´ve tried to include it in my articles, that middle ground to which we are all called to be in when we recount stories of war or whatever type of news or activity. It is that middle ground of proximity and closeness to the person and that distance that makes way for objectivity.”

The book has been released in Italian, but the publisher is planning to release editions in other languages. It is one of the most interesting episodes in the Vatican´s recent history, narrated in first person by two people who followed it closest.