Damian Thompson said that The Letter was worse than anything that ever befell Benedict. Now it looks like Cardinal Müller agrees: The Letter is “a new Vatileaks.” Gerhard Ludwig Cardinal Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and a purported signatory of The Letter, refused to confirm whether or not he signed, which, of course, points in one direction. However, according to the Catholic Herald, he told the Corriere della Sera:
“The scandal is that it makes public a private letter of the Pope. This is a new Vatileaks: the Pope’s private documents are private property of the Pope and no one else. No one can publish it, I do not know how that could happen.”
(Emphasis supplied.) We also noted that leaking The Letter to Sandro Magister was a particularly provocative act, since Magister has been persona non grata in the Press Office since he leaked an advance copy (mostly accurate) of Laudato si’.
Of course, we are not quite sure that this is a new Vatileaks. As everyone knows, there was a lot going on with Vatileaks: on one hand, it seems to us that the Sodano-Bertone rivalry (the old-line Secretariat of State crowd, which had gotten its own way under John Paul’s pontificate, against the “outsider” Bertone and his circle) was—at least in its essence—separate from the clique opposed to Benedict from the beginning. We are not sure that there is as much going on here. Really, there is one issue, which has created other issues. So, perhaps Vatileaks II isn’t the right name for lo scandalo della lettera.