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Vatican probes two Italian journalists over leaked documents

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
In this file picture, Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi gives a press conference to promote the release of a book that alleges corruption at the Vatican, in Rome, November 4, 2015. (Photo by AFP)

The Vatican has launched an investigation into two Italian journalists over the release of confidential documents regarding alleged financial mismanagement in the Catholic Church to the media.

The Vatican said on Wednesday that journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi were being investigated over the recent publication of confidential material in two books.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said the two were being probed for possible complicity “in the offence of divulging confidential news and documents.”

Last week, the two journalists separately published books based on classified documents and aimed at shedding light on alleged corruption, theft, and uncontrolled spending at the Vatican.

The documents were leaked from a reform commission Pope Francis had named in order to monitor the Vatican’s finances and propose reforms so that more money could go to charity.

The journalists alleged that the Vatican’s bank has been sheltering suspected criminals. The books also accuse powerful cardinals of using charity money to refurbish their homes.

This comes as the head of the Italian bank Banca Finnat, Gianpietro Nattino, is also suspected of using the bank for money laundering.

Back in 2012, the Vatican suffered what became known as the “Vatileaks” scandal, which involved the release of documents to the media by a butler of then-Pope Benedict XVI. The scandal is said to have contributed to the former pope’s decision to resign in 2013.

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