The Vatican’s number two has accused the media of trying “to imitate Dan Brown” in its coverage of the VatiLeaks scandal and said the Roman Catholic Church’s latest travails were part of the Devil’s attempt to destabilise it.
The interview with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who ranks second to Pope Benedict in the Vatican’s hierarchy, was the latest attempt at damage control by senior officials since the leaks scandal began in January.
In an interview yesterday with the Italian Catholic magazine Famiglia Cristiana, Bertone, the Vatican’s secretary of state, accused the media of “intentionally ignoring” the good things the church does while dwelling on scandals.
“Many journalists are playing the game of trying to imitate Dan Brown,” said Bertone, referring to the best-selling author of novels such as the Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons.
“They [journalists] continue to invent fairytales and repeat legends,” he said.
The scandal involves the leak of sensitive documents, including letters written to Pope Benedict whose butler, Paolo Gabriel, was arrested last month after a large number of stolen documents were found in his home.
Bertone said the media were full of “pettiness and lies spread in these days,” adding that “outside Italy people have a hard time trying to understand the vehemence of some Italian newspapers”.
He said the church was “an unequivocal reference point for countless people,” and added: “This is why there is an attempt to destabilise it”. Bertone branded as false the image of the Vatican as a place of power struggles, saying: “The truth is that there is an attempt to sow division that comes from the Devil”.