Cardinal Pell Defended by Vatican

The director of the Holy See Press Office, Federico Lombardi, S.J., came out swinging on Feb. 27 in response to a collection of articles published in the Italian weekly L’Espresso. The articles purport to show internal struggles within the Vatican on ongoing economic reforms. “Passing confidential documents to the press for polemical ends or to foster conflict is not new, but is always to be strongly condemned and is illegal,” Father Lombardi said. “The fact that complex economic or legal issues are the subject of discussion and diverse points of view should be considered normal.” L’Espresso reported that Cardinal George Pell’s economy secretariat had run up a half-million euros in expenses in its first six months of its existence. Vatican watchers suggest the leak was intended to discredit Cardinal Pell, who has been aggressively seeking to reform Vatican financial institutions and processes. “The article makes direct personal attacks that should be considered undignified and petty,” Father Lombardi said.

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