VATICAN CITY – The Vatican has launched an internal criminal investigation into the leaks of confidential documents that alleged corruption and financial mismanagement and exposed power struggles among Holy See officials, a Vatican prelate said Saturday.
In addition, Pope Benedict XVI himself has set up a special commission to shed light on the so-called “Vatileaks” scandal because he was so distressed by the “disloyalty” shown by those who leaked the memos, Monsignor Angelo Becciu, undersecretary in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, told the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.
The scandal has come at an exceedingly delicate time for the Vatican, which is seeking to win European approval for its efforts to ensure its finances are transparent and that its laws to fight money laundering and terror financing meet international norms.
Compliance would help boost the Vatican’s efforts to get on the so-called “white list” of countries that share financial information – a designation the Vatican hopes will forever dispense with its reputation as a scandal-plagued, secrecy-obsessed tax haven.
Leaks of memos alleging corruption in the awarding of Vatican contracts, mismanagement in the Vatican’s finances, infighting and disputes over the Vatican’s new anti-money laundering efforts haven’t helped the bid.