VATICAN CITY: The Vatican said Friday it has arrested a man caught in possession of secret documents, as it cracked down on a leak scandal which has seen confidential information passed to the Italian media.
“The inquiry carried out by Vatican police… allowed them to identify someone in possession of confidential documents. This person is currently being questioned,” Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told journalists.
Lombardi would not provide any details as to the suspect’s identity, his job or when he was arrested.
But according to Il Foglio newspaper, the man arrested is the pope’s butler — and the daily said he is likely to be used by the Vatican as “a handy scapegoat” for several others involved in leaking documents.
Last month, Pope Benedict XVI set up a special commission of cardinals to investigate the leaks, which began in January and have seen private documents splashed in the Italian media — to the embarrassment and rage of the Holy See.
Among the confidential Vatican documents leaked to Italy’s press are some that have dealt with allegations of corruption within the Vatican.
They have mainly centred on the activities of the Vatican bank and Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.
The arrest came a day after the head of the Vatican Bank was ousted for failing to clean up the image of an institution that has come to symbolise the opacity and scandal gripping the Holy See’s administration.
Ettore Gotti Tedeschi was thrown out by the bank’s board for failing to do his job — but had also recently been suspected of being one of those behind the leaks.