VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI on Monday called for “faithfulness” from his followers following a scandal over the leak of confidential papers from the Vatican that has led to the arrest of his butler.
“I encourage you to cultivate a personal bond with the Vicar of Christ as part of your spirituality,” the pope said in a speech at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, the diplomatic school of the Holy See.
He added: “For those who work in the Holy See, it is of particular importance, since they spend much of their energy, their time and their daily ministry in the service of the Successor of Peter.
“God’s faithfulness is the key to, and the source of, our own faithfulness. I would like today to remind you of precisely this virtue, which well expresses the unique bond existing between the pope and his direct collaborators.”
“Not least, you will also help the Successor of Peter to be faithful to the mission he has received from Christ,” he said.
The Vatican has been shaken by the scandal, which has drawn attention to divisions between senior clergymen in the Vatican and in particular growing criticism of the powerful Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone.
The pope’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, has been arrested by Vatican police on suspicion of being the source of the leaks but commentators quoted by Italian media say there were likely to be other moles in the administration.