Pope Benedict XVI broke his silence yesterday over the leaked-documents scandal, saying he was saddened by the betrayal.
During his weekly address in St Peter's Square, he attacked some media reports about the scandal, saying the "exaggerated" and "gratuitous" rumours had offered a false image of the Holy See.
The leaks have revealed allegations of corruption, mismanagement and internal conflicts. The Pope's butler, Paolo Gabriele, was arrested last week after Vatican investigators discovered papal documents in his apartment. He remains in detention and has pledged to co-operate with the investigation.
The scandal represents one of the greatest breaches of trust and security for the Holy See in recent memory, given that a significant number of documents from the Pope's own desk were leaked to an investigative journalist. The Vatican has denounced the leaks as criminal and immoral and has opened a three-pronged investigation.
"The events of recent days about the Curia and my collaborators have brought sadness in my heart," Pope Benedict said.