tI’m on my way to Rome, and to get up to speed I’m reading the Italian press. As usual, the papers feature the latest rumors about behind-the-scenes power struggles in the Vatican, this time resurrecting the now-infamous “Boffo case” which was the great Roman soap opera of last summer.
tIn a nutshell, Dino Boffo was the editor of the newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference and a well-known figure in Italian Catholicism. He was forced to resign in August after a secular newspaper, edited by a political ally of conservative Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, published rumors suggesting that Boffo had been involved in a homosexual affair. The primary document at the base of those rumors has since been discredited, but that hasn’t stopped enterprising reporters from trying to figure out who leaked it to Boffo’s enemies. The latest reconstruction goes like this: Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, gave the green light; Gian Maria Vian, editor of the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, put things into motion; and the head of Vatican security, Domenico Giani, was the guy who actually passed on the document.