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Monsignors’ Mutiny Mirrors WikiLeaks, Watergate Scandals
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Monsignors’ Mutiny Mirrors WikiLeaks, Watergate Scandals

A Monsignors’ mutiny occurring in the Vatican combines spy novel intrigue with grade school infighting. According to Reuters, the key players in the flap are the Pope’s right-hand man Tarcisio Bertone and a collection of Cardinals implicitly backed by former Vatican Secretary of State Angelo Sodano.

The allegations include retaliatory reassignment of Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano to the U.S. for disclosing contract irregularities. Those irregularities are said to include not only inflated prices but favoritism in the awards process.

There’s blame for the money-laundering scandal involving the Vatican Bank, Institute for the Works of Religion, described by the National Catholic Reporter last year.

And there’s personality conflict. Bertone, his critics charge, is a "yes man" without diplomatic expertise, linguistic competency, or openness to dissenting ideas, according to Reuters.

While the Monsignors Mutiny is an embarrassment to the Catholic Church, it’s not the first time information from insiders turned an organization inside out.

Reminiscent of Cablegate

The tattletale revelations emanating from Vatican City are reminiscent of the WikiLeaks diplomatic cable scandal nicknamed "Cablegate," the Register noted. In that case, it wasn’t disgruntled diplomats deliberately sabotaging their employer. A third party, Julian Assange, gained access to their uncensored words and embarrassed them right along with their employers. In all, there were 251,000 secret U.S. diplomatic cables published. The Guardian described the cables as identifying persecution and sex abuse victims, disclosing informant names, and unveiling sensitive government facilities. The International Herald Tribune said the leaked papers included blunt security assessments and candid personal observations, none of which was intended to be made public.

Watergate Revisited

Back in the 1970s, the U.S. government was rocked by the Watergate scandal with sources high in government breaking the law to get then President Nixon re-elected. As noted by the Washington Post, a long anonymous insider known as Deep Throat secretly leaked information to its reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein and confirmed information they uncovered from inside and outside sources, enabling them to disclose the wrongdoing. The scandal led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation. In 2005, Vanity Fair published the identity of Deep Throat, a former high-ranking FBI official, Mark Felt.

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