WikiLeaks bares Vaticans diplomatic soul
Cables Sent From US Embassy Depict Pope Isolated As Aides Try To Protect Him From Bad News
Vatican City: The Vatican may be the worlds smallest state but even its diplomatic soul has been laid bare by WikiLeaks cables covering everything from sex abuse and media blunders to old technophobic cardinals.
Cables sent from the US embassy to the Vatican to the State Department depict Pope Benedict as sometimes isolated as aides try to protect him from bad news,and say his number two is seen as a yes man with little credibility among diplomats.
The cables were published by the Guardian newspaper,one of several news organisations with have been given access to the leaked cables from US embassies around the world.A long cable in February 2009,though couched in diplomatic language,reads like a scathing criticism of the Vaticans internal and external communications structures,which are held responsible for some of Pope Benedict’s biggest public mishaps.
The Holy Sees communications operation is suffering from muddled messaging partly as a result of cardinals technophobia and ignorance about 21st century communications.Only one senior papal advisor has a Blackberry and few have e-mail accounts.It has led to PR blunders on issues as sensitive as the Holocaust, a US diplomat writes.
The cable calls the popes inner circle of advisers old Italo-centric men uncomfortable with information technology and the rough and tumble of media communications.The popes righthand man,secretary of state Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone,is depicted as a yes man with no diplomatic experience or linguistic skills and the cable suggests that the pope is protected from bad news.
There is also the question of who,if anyone,brings dissenting views to the popes attention, it says.Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi,said on Saturday that the cables reflected the perceptions of the authors and were not expressions of the Holy See itself. AP
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