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Archbishop Becciu: Pope Has Not Lost Serenity. Vatican Deputy Secretary of State Speaks on Theft of Documents

VATICAN CITY, MAY 30, 2012 (Zenit.org).- The "Osservatore Romano" newspaper today published an interview with Archbishop Angelo Becciu, Deputy Secretary of State under Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, concerning the question of stolen papal documents.


Archbishop Becciu stated that he has seen the Holy Father "suffering because, on the basis of what has thus far emerged, someone very close to him would seem to have acted in a completely unjustifiable manner. Of course, the Pope's prevailing sentiment is one of compassion for the person involved, but the fact remains that he has been the victim of a brutal action."

"Benedict XVI has had to witness the publication of letters stolen from his own home, not simply private correspondence but information, reflections, expressions of states of mind, and effusive comments which he has received merely by virtue of his ministry. For this reason the Pope is particularly sorrowful, also for the violation suffered by the writers of the letters he has received," he said.

In the opinion of the Secretariat of State, the publication of these documents "is an immoral act of unprecedented gravity, especially because it is not just a serious violation of the privacy to which everybody should have the right, but a despicable abuse of the relationship of trust that exists between Benedict XVI and those who turn to him, even if they do so to express some heartfelt protest. The question does not merely involve the theft of some of the Pope's letters; the consciences of those who address him as the Vicar of Christ have been violated, and the ministry of the Successor of the Apostle Peter has come under attack".

A number of articles that have appeared in newspapers in recent days have suggested that the published documents reveal turbid dealings inside the Vatican walls. On this subject the deputy Secretary of State notes that, "on the one hand they criticise the monarchic and absolutist nature of central Church government, while on the other they are scandalised because people who write to the Pope may express ideas or even complaints about how that government is organised. Many of the published documents do not reveal power struggles or vendettas but the freedom of thought which the Church is criticised for not allowing."

"Diverging points of view, even contrasting evaluations, are part of the normal order, and if someone feels misunderstood he has every right to turn to the Pontiff. What is scandalous about that? Obedience does not mean renouncing one's own opinions, but sincerely and fully expressing one's point of view, then abiding by the leader's decision," he said.

Archbishop Becciu concluded by telling the Catholic faithful that "the Pope has not lost that serenity which enables him to govern the Church with determination and foresight."

"We wish to echo the Gospel parable which the Holy Father himself mentioned a few days ago: the winds beat against the house but it does not fall. The Lord sustains it and no storm can bring it down", he said.