Vatican says leaks do not reflect views of Holy See

The Vatican described the most recent leaks from US cables yesterday as a matter of "extreme seriousness". The cables from the US embassy at the Vatican describe its leadership as out of touch, and criticise their refusal to allow officials to testify before an Irish commission investigating child abuse by clerics. Cables have revealed that information requested by the 2009 Murphy Commission – which reported on allegations of abuse within the Catholic Church in Dublin – "offended many in the Vatican", who felt that the Irish government had "failed to respect and protect Vatican sovereignty during the investigations".

The deputy chief of mission at the US embassy to the Vatican, Julieta Valls Noyes, stated that an attempt to involve the Vatican in the Irish child-abuse investigation was "an affront to Vatican sovereignty".

A statement released by the Vatican over the weekend said: "Naturally these reports reflect the perceptions and opinions of the people who wrote them and cannot be considered as expressions of the Holy See itself, nor as exact quotations of the words of its officials. Their reliability must, then, be evaluated carefully and with great prudence, bearing this circumstance in mind."

Pope Benedict's Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, upon being described as a "Yes Man" in the cables, was quoted as saying: "I am very proud to be described as a 'Yes man', given that this truthfully reflects my support for the pastoral work of the Pope."

The Vatican's daily newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, did not report on the latest leaks whilst the newspaper's editor, Giovanni Maria Vian, said the Vatican's statement "distanced itself in a sober fashion from the perceptions and opinions" presented in the cables.

The US embassy condemned "in the strongest terms" the leaking of such documents and promised that their relationship of co-operation would not be compromised as a result.

Meanwhile, members of the conspiracy to kill the dissident Alexander Litvinenko with a radioactive poison were being followed by Russia until warned off by the British secret services, a former KGB officer claimed.

The allegation was contained in a memo detailing a meeting between the former KGB agent, Anatoliy Safonov, and Henry Crumpton, an ex-CIA bureau chief when they had dinner together in Paris in 2006.

The meeting took place shortly after Litvinenko had been murdered and, if true, the allegations would suggest worrying incompetence within the British secret services. However, without corroboration the claims are perhaps more likely to be an attempt by Russia to spread disinformation to cloud its own role in the murder.

The memo was written by US embassy staff in Paris two weeks after Litvinenko died in London from polonium poisoning and note that Safonov claimed: "Russian authorities in London had known about and followed individuals moving radioactive substances into the city but were told by the British that they were under control before the poisoning took place."

One of the embassy officials observed that Safonov's comments suggested Russia had no involvement in the murder but that he failed to offer any further details.

Other sources have previously claimed that the killing would have been impossible without the backing of senior people in the Kremlin.

Crumpton ran CIA operations in Afghanistan becore becoming the US ambassador fopr counter terrorism. Safonic was formerly a KGB general but when he met Crumpton in Paris he was a special presidential representative. The meeting was held to discuss how Russia and the US could work together against terrorism.

* It emerged last night that leaked US embassy cables sugegsted that the British security services offered to pass sensitive files to the US government concerning the 1989 murder of Pat Finucane, a prominent civil rights lawyer. The cables, published by WikiLeaks, were written by the US ambassador to Dublin, James C Kenny, who reported that the head of MI5, Eliza Manningham-Butler, had offered to hand over all evidence her agency had relating to the inquiry to the US envoy to Ireland, Mitchell Reiss.

Suggested Topics
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
Arts and Entertainment
Worldwide ticket sales for The Lion King musical surpassed $6.2bn ($3.8bn) this summer
tvMusical is biggest grossing show or film in history
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Life and Style
food + drink
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Pharmaceutical Computer System Validation Specialist

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pharmaceutical Computer ...

High Level Teaching Assistant (HTLA)

£70 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Higher Level Teaching Assist...

Teaching Assistant

£50 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education is the UK...

Senior Java Developer - API's / Webservices - XML, XSLT

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits