June 8, 2012. (Romereports.com)
The leak of confidential Vatican documents seems to be in the news everyday. But the constant flow of information has brought about a lot of confusion and even factual mistakes. Here are some of the most common errors.
The first mistake is the notion that “the documents are scandalous.” Even though the leak of roughly 100 documents has caused some embarrassment, their content is not very shocking. In them, its authors write to the Pope to address real problems within the Church. In some of them, its authors highlight decisions that they don't agree with.
Some of the documents include requests to meet with the Pope, confidential reports and proposals for Benedict XVI. The documents are quite direct and don't always follow protocol, since it was assumed, they would only be seen by the Pope.
The second mistake
, is that notion that the “documents are an attack against the Pope.”
The leaked documents actually give a positive image of the Pope. They show that before making a final decision, he seeks insight from his collaborators.
But in essence, the leak of documents is a direct and serious violation of his privacy and of the Vatican in general.
The third mistake
that's been reported, is that “the Vatican is divided into two battling groups.”
The leaked documents actually deal with very different topics and different departments. The documents do however, seem to be a way to discredit Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who serves as the Vatican's Secretary of State. Also on that list is the Pope's secretary, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein.
As in other governments and bureaucracies, there are always differing opinions. But this shouldn't be confused with internal hostility.
The Fourth most common mistake
, is that “cardinals cannot be judged in court.”
Since the Vatican is a state, it actually has its own “Supreme Court Tribunal,” which is also the court that deals with formally judging cardinals. The tribunal is made up of a panel of cardinals, including Raymond Burke, Jean-Louis Tauran and Paolo Sardi.
The fifth mistake
out there, is that “the Pope's butler, will be judged by the Tribunal of the Church.”
This is not completely correct, since the butler and other possible suspects, will be judged by the civil tribunal of the City State of the Vatican. In this case, the judges are not priests, but rather, lay people who are law experts and professors of Italian Universities.
The term 'Holy See' actually refers to government of the Catholic Church. While, the Vatican City State is the territory where the Pope lives.
The sixth mistake
is that “the butler will be judged secretly.”
At this point, a judge has issued a gag order on items connected to the investigation. But if he chooses to go forward with a trial, that trial would take place publicly. If a trial does take place, the butler would have his two lawyers.
The seventh item
, is that Benedict XVI will issue a “Papal Pardon to the butler”
At this point, this is still a hypothesis that's still in the air. Years, ago, John Paul II forgave the man who tried to kill him, Ali Agca. Even though this case, is completely different, it is possible that the Pope may issue his pardon to Paolo Gabriele.
In any case, only time will tell, what the fate of the butler and possible accomplices will be.