National Catholic Reporter

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Vatican 'moles' say pope's butler didn't act alone, vow more leaks

VATICAN CITY -- Despite the arrest of Pope Benedict XVI's butler two weeks ago, leaks of confidential documents continue to dribble out of the Vatican as "moles" vow to continue their action until the pope's two closest aides are sacked.

The Italian daily La Repubblica on Sunday published a short handwritten note by Pope Benedict himself that was leaked from the Vatican. La Repubblica also said it had received two letters by the pope's personal secretary, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, but chose not to publish their contents.

In the letter that was published, Benedict was responding to a letter from American Cardinal Raymond Burke, who heads the Vatican equivalent of the Supreme Court, to Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, on the Neocatechumenal Way, a controversial lay movement that has been criticized for its unorthodox liturgical practices. Burke's letter had evidently been forwarded to the pope himself.

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In an accompanying letter, the self-described "moles" said they have "hundreds" of other secret documents in their possession. They also describe the pope's butler, Paolo Gabriele, as a "scapegoat."

The letter says that "those who are really responsible" for the "scandal" should be "sacked," and points the finger at Bertone and Gaenswein, the pope's closest personal aide. Between the two men, according to the letter, there is an "uncontrolled flow of very confidential documents and acts."

So far, Gabriele is the only suspect in a Vatican investigation on the document leaks; formal hearings in his case began Monday.

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