A statement from the Holy See press office has confirmed a Vatican investigation into two authors of books which explore waste and malfeasance within Vatican finances. Federico Lombardi, S.J., Director of the Holy See Press Office, said today: "During the current investigation, the Magistrate has acquired evidence indicating involvement in the offense by the two journalists who are now under investigation. They are being examined by the investigators as well as the positions of other persons, who by reasons associated with their office, cooperated in the acquisition of the confidential documents in question."
The two men are the authors of Avarice and Merchants in the Temple, documenting alleged waste and mismanagement in the Vatican and lavish spending by clergymen.
A communiqué released on Nov. 11 by the Holy See Press Office said that in the past few days partial and imprecise information has appeared in the secular press regarding the content of confidential documents pertaining to APSA, the Office that administrates the patrimony of the Holy See.
Meanwhile the Vatican’s Secretary of State said on Nov. 11 that the “Vatileaks” case has caused a “heavy atmosphere” and called some press reports on the case “very emotional, if not hysterical.”
“I do not believe these polemics can create a tranquil atmosphere,” Cardinal Pietro Parolin told Vatican Radio. “Indeed, it creates a heavy atmosphere,” he said. “If we look at press, we see unreasonable attacks with little meaning, that are ill-conceived and very emotional, if not hysterical.”
However, Cardinal Parolin said “God can write straight with crooked lines,” and said although the leaking of Vatican documents is “an attack on the Church,” the situation can be “turned to the good” if welcomed with a “spirit of conversion.”
The Vatican Judiciary Authority—the Holy See communiqué continues—has opened an investigation into the leaking of these documents. It added that APSA, which is not under investigation, continues to carry out its activities within full respect of the rules and regulations in force.
Also on Wednesday, a press release published by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples describes the insinuations proffered by some media as “unacceptable.”
The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples—also known as Propaganda Fide—says it is perfectly in line with Pope Francis’ reform of the Curia and it is committed to respect the will of donors who throughout the years have contributed to the funding of its missionary mandate. It denies accusations of renting out luxury apartments or of owning smart hotels and points out that all of its properties, which were donated to the Congregation in favour of Missions, are rented at market rate value, or even at lower rates for those in difficulty, and in full respect of Italian real estate legislation.
It also specifies that the Congregation complies with Italian legislation regarding property taxation.
Cardinal Parolin reiterated the theme of Pope Francis’ Angelus message from last Sunday: The reforms of the Vatican will continue.
“Changing is always difficult because we are tempted to continue in the comfort of our daily hustle and bustle,” he said. “We have to overcome, in this sense, the resistance—defining it as psychological is not enough, as pathological is too much—the resistance that is there.”
The Cardinal said this must be addressed in a “constructive manner” so that they can be transformative.
“I think this is the key to this affair,” Cardinal Parolin said, “to transform what may be the natural resistance in the face of change into the instruments of reform. And everyone has this desire to change for the better, and this betterment is what Pope Francis himself asks of the Curia.”