Allegations over corruption and cronyism within the Catholic church have apparently dominated talks at the College of Cardinals meeting in the Vatican.
The scandal over leaked papal documents is casting a shadow over the gathering to chose a new pope and many want to be briefed about a secret report by three elderly cardinals into mismanagement.
According to a senior source, a prelate over 80 who was present at Monday’s meetings, the contents of the report came up during the morning session but he declined to say if the requests to be briefed were made in the formal sessions or informal coffee break discussions or both.
Paolo Gabriele, the pope’s butler, was convicted of stealing personal papal documents and leaking them to the media. The documents alleged corruption and infighting over the running of its bank. Gabriele was jailed and later pardoned by Benedict.
Despite the row, the Archbishop of Boston said they are trying to make progress: “The Vati-leaks grabbed the headlines for a long time, but I don’t know how important those issues are for the work of the Conclave. I feel confident that the Cardinals will share with each other the information which is really important for us to know as we make this important decision,” said Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston
Specific matters discussed at the preliminary meetings are covered by secrecy and none of the Cardinals our correspondent crossed was willing to break ranks although Abuja Archbishop John Onaiyekan did tell euronews: “We are very happy and we are sure that things will go well. We trust in God. Ciao.”
The Vatican appears to be aiming to have a new pope elected next week and officially installed several days later so he can preside over the Holy Week ceremonies.