Vatileaks, And Why Young People Should Care

Nextgen Journal

by Dan Horning | The George Washington University

Remember that time Dan Brown wrote a series of books that made a bunch of Catholics mad, especially the people at the Vatican, because he wrote fictional stories about the Catholic Church covering up crimes and leveraging power over its flock?

Now mix that with a game of Clue, and you have a real life story unfolding right now.

One of the most powerful, secretive, and controversial organizations in the world is once again under the global spotlight about a topic it would rather see go away. Money, power, greed, influence and politics have taken center stage, instead of a mission to feed the poor and spread the Gospel. What could possibly be the latest PR embarrassment for the world’s largest single religion and smallest sovereign state, and why should young people even care?

Vatileaks, as it has been dubbed by the media, is seen as a three-tier power struggle: hide questionable activity by the Vatican Bank, undermine the Pope’s second in command, Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, and increase the influence of the Italian cardinals in selecting the next Pope. In January 2012, several private letters from top Vatican officials, including the papal secretary and Pope Benedict XVI himself, were leaked to Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi. Those leaked communiqués, which Nuzzi published in a book called Sua Santità (His Holiness), document a Vatican in disarray, resembling medieval feudal states divided between various camps and cliques, resembling a lion’s den more than anything else.

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