Pope Francis' Encyclical Leak: an Inside Job?

Reporter's press credentials suspended; some suspect Vatican conservatives
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2015 11:00 AM CDT
Pope Francis' Encyclical Leak: an Inside Job?
Pope Francis delivers his message on the occasion of an audience with participants of Rome's diocese convention in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, June 14, 2015.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

The "heinous act" of leaking the draft of Pope Francis' long-awaited environment encyclical may have been designed to steal some thunder from Thursday's official launch, Vatican observers say—and some think it may have been masterminded by Vatican insiders, the AP reports. What the news agency is calling "something of a whodunit" is transpiring inside the Holy See after Italian mag L'Espresso published a 190-page-plus draft of the pontiff's "Laudato Si" ("Be Praised") letter on its website yesterday, confirmed by the Vatican to be a draft of the real deal. Today the Vatican called the posting of the draft "incorrect" and suspended the press credentials of Sandro Magister, the magazine's longtime Vatican reporter and "most reliable and revered vaticanisti," per his own Chiesa website. However, Magister claims he's not the one who obtained or leaked the document—his editor is, he tells the AP.

"I just wrote the introduction," he texted, confirming that he had promised the Vatican his lips were sealed about the encyclical, which features Francis hitting global warming as being predominantly caused by humans and our insistence on burning fossil fuels. Who is under the microscope, according to some observers: Vatican conservatives who wanted the pope to keep his nose out of science and stick to church doctrine. The AP cites La Stampa, an Italian daily, as saying that those old-school conservatives don't appreciate the pope's attempts at reform. Some commentators say the leak may have been planned to devalue Thursday's launch, which will be assisted by decidedly non-church-affiliated professionals, including an atheist scientist and an economist, per the AP. (This isn't the first ugly Vatican leak.)

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