Vatican City: The Vatican's inquisition into the source of leaked documents has yielded its first target with the arrest of the pope's butler, but the investigation is continuing into a scandal that has embarrassed the Holy See by revealing evidence of internal power struggles, intrigue and corruption in the highest levels of the Catholic Church governance.
The detention of butler Paolo Gabriele, one of the few members of the papal household, capped one of the most convulsive weeks in recent Vatican history and threw the Holy See into chaos as it enters a critical phase in its efforts to show the world it's serious about complying with international norms on financial transparency.
The tumult began with the publication last weekend of a book of leaked Vatican documents including correspondence, notes and memos to the pope and his private secretary.
Investigation, however, is continuing into a scandal that has embarrassed the Holy See by revealing evidence of internal power struggles.
It peaked with the inglorious ouster on Thursday of the president of the Vatican bank. And it concluded with confirmation yesterday that Pope Benedict XVI's own butler was the alleged mole feeding documents to Italian journalists in an apparent bid to discredit the pontiff's No. 2.
"If you wrote this in fiction you wouldn't believe it," said Carl Anderson, a member of the board of the Vatican bank which contributed to the whirlwind with its no-confidence vote in its president, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi. "No editor would let you put it in a novel."
The bank, known as the Institute for Religious Works, issued a scathing denunciation of Gotti Tedeschi in a memorandum obtained yesterday by The Associated Press. In it the bank, or IOR by its Italian initials, explained its reasons for ousting Gotti Tedeschi: he routinely missed board meetings, failed to do his job, failed to defend the bank, polarised its personnel and displayed "progressively erratic personal behavior."
Gotti Tedeschi was also accused by the board of leaking documents himself: The IOR memorandum said he "failed to provide any formal explanation for the dissemination of documents last known" to be in his possession. In an interview with the AP, Anderson said the latter accusation was independent of the broader "Vatileaks" scandal that has rocked the Vatican for months. But he stressed: "It is not an insignificant issue."