Loading
Vatican and its observers find little to react to in WikiLeaks cables
By Alan Holdren, Vatican Correspondent

.- Vatican officials are reacting “serenely” to the latest dump of cables in the ongoing WikiLeaks disclosure. That according to Giovanni Maria Vian, director of the semi-official Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano.

The "stolen" documents "reveal exactly nothing," he told the Italian daily, La Stampa.

"If anything,” he explained, “the cables demonstrate scarce initiative on the part of whoever prepared them and show instead, an excessive zeal in referring to opinions circulating in different environments, especially from Italian journalists."

This has been the Vatican’s line, too. In an official statement issued Dec. 11, Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi said the cables reflect only their authors’ "perceptions and opinions" — which are not terribly insightful. He did urge that outsiders read the cables with “great prudence.”

L’Osservatore Romano has diplomatically avoided coverage of the WikiLeaks cables. And the so-called “Vaticanistas,” Italian journalists who cover the Vatican, have largely reacted in a ho-hum fashion to the release of the once-secret documents.

In their accounts they have portrayed the documents as offering no new “revelations,” but merely old news repackaged to appear new.  The value of the documents, these observers agree, is that they offer an interesting, inside glimpse of the way U.S. government officials regard the Vatican and its officials.

Respected Vatican analyst Andrea Tornielli borrowed the words of late-Vatican diplomat Cardinal Domenico Tardini to describe the state of the diplomatic environment.

When the cardinal was told that the Holy See's diplomatic corps was the best in the world, he responded ironically, "Ours the best? Imagine the others.”

Given the circumstances, the "realism" of this light-hearted statement from the cardinal "seems truer in these days of full-immersion in the WikiLeaks files," Tornielli wrote on his blog for the Italian newspaper Il Giornale.

Tornielli said the cables shed little light on Vatican diplomacy. But they do say a lot about the diplomatic blunders of the U.S., which he said, "failed sensationally" in allowing these private communications to become public.

Tornielli said there are no new "revelations" contained in the cables. The information released is already known "in the newspapers and on blogs from the entire world."

Of course, some of the opinions expressed by U.S. diplomats have raised eyebrows.

One cable describes Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone as a "yes man," one who does not contradict the Pope or question the Church’s policies.

It did not take long for the Italian news agency Adkronos to report Cardinal Bertone's cheerful response.

"I am very proud to be described as a 'Yes man'," he said, "given that this colorful description truthfully reflects my support for the pastoral work of the pope."

The Vaticanista Massimo Franco, who writes for Milan-based Corriere della Sera daily, criticized the Vatican’s quick response to the WikiLeaks cables.

He said the Vatican’s statement, which urged “great prudence” in evaluating the cables, appeared both superfluous and defensive."

No matter what the Vatican is saying officially, the leaked cables clearly "touched uncovered and hyper-sensitive nerves," according to Franco.

Vatican spokesman Fr. Lombardi had underscored that quotations and opinions expressed by Vatican officials in the cables cannot be attributed to the Vatican, nor necessarily be considered accurate.

Franco said this attempt to put distance between Vatican officials and the contents of the cables was itself suspicious. It is "almost as if the Vatican wished to exorcise the suspicion, widespread anyway, that the critiques are fed from the inside," he said.

Some Vatican analysts are paying just minimal attention to the cables. A summary of Catholic apologist and Corriere della Sera writer Vittorio Messori's coverage was printed in a post on the new Italian site for veteran Vatican analysts called La Bussola Quotidiana.

According to a brief post, Messori said the cables reveal an American diplomacy "full of holes."

He noted that much of the content reprints "chatter, conversations with some journalists, for the sake of speaking without particular relevance, a little bit of gossip."

Messori did find one sentence in a cable to be "a pearl," however.

In a message ahead of the Pope's trip to Israel and Jordan in May 2009, a diplomat wrote: "Pope Benedict sometimes bewilders politicians and journalists by pursuing what he believes is in the best interest of the Church, such as reinstating the Lefebvrists or considering the canonization of Pius XII."

Messori said he "could not imagine a better compliment or encouragement for a Bishop of Rome” than that of doing what he holds to be his duty.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
24

Liturgical Calendar

April 24, 2014

Thursday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Gospel
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:11-26
Gospel:: Lk 24:35-48

Saint of the Day

Easter Sunday »

Saint
Date
04/24/14
04/22/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Homily
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: