Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Vatileak inquiry remains open

Vatican justiceThe machine of justice is hard at work in the Holy See to dispel all doubts surrounding the Vatileaks scandal. “Justice needs to be done with humility and truthfulness,” said the Vatican Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone, during the opening of the Judicial Year, celebrated in the Vatican City.

Present at the inaugural ceremony were a number of figures who played key roles in last autumn’s trials against the Pope’s former butler, Paolo Gabriele and Vatican IT technician, Claudio Sciarpelletti (both of whom were recently pardoned by the Pope): President Giuseppe dalla Torre, associate judges Marano and Pellettier, investigating judge Piero Antonio Bonnet and lawyers Cristina Arrù (who defended Paolo Gabriele) and Gianluca Benedetti (Sciarpelletti’s lawyer).
 
During the ceremony, the Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone, urged faithful to “desist from self-promotion”. He criticised people’s desire to “show off” and suggested faithful should deflate their ego and allow their love for Jesus to grow in them and in others.
 
Nicola Picardi, the over-eighty-year-old promoter of justice who had led the Vatileaks inquiry in recent months and was a also prosecutor in the Gabriele and Sciarpelletti cases, did not attend this morning’s ceremony.
 
The deputy Promoter of Justice, Pierfrancesco Grossi, who replaced Picardi, gave a speech in which criticising lawyers for their inadequate knowledge of Vatican law: “unfortunately, experience shows that in many cases they do not have an adequate enough knowledge of basic and trial-related Vatican law, with obvious consequences.” 

In addition, external professionals are completely ignorant in the field of Canon law which is the primary source of law in the Vatican. Grossi recalled that the founding patrons of the Vatican Tribunal were Consistorial lawyers whose college was closed by John Paul II in 1988. 

Today, “our tribunal’s defence is handled by lawyers of the Roman Rota who have graduated in civil law as well,” they appear in the “relevant lawyers’ register.” 

“In exceptional cases, external professionals may be authorised” to work in the Vatican as well.

Grossi called for the introduction of “specialisation courses” and “refresher courses” “as a condition for appearing in the list of accredited lawyers who have authorisation to practice in our tribunal.”
 
At the end of the opening ceremony, the Holy See Press Office stressed that the “Vatileaks inquiry remains open” and further investigations into the confidential documents that were leaked from the Roman Curia dicasteries and the Pope’s apartment. 

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