One of the Vaticans biggest scandals in decades widened Monday with the popes butler arrested last week for allegedly stealing confidential documents agreeing to cooperate with investigators.
Paolo Gabrieles pledge to cooperate with the investigators raises the specter that high-ranking prelates may soon be named in the investigation into leaks of confidential Vatican correspondence that have shed a light on power struggles and intrigue inside the highest levels of the Catholic Church.
Italian media reported Monday that a cardinal is suspected of playing a major role in the Vatileaks scandal.
The Vatican spokesman Rev Federico Lombardi,however,insisted there is no cardinal under suspicion.
Gabriele,46,the popes personal butler since 2006,has been charged with theft.
His lawyer Carlo Fusco said his client would respond to all the questions and will collaborate with investigators to ascertain the truth.
The Vatileaks scandal broke in January when letters from the former No 2 administrator to the pope,in which he begged not to be transferred for having exposed alleged corruption at the Holy See,surfaced. Monsignor Carlo Maria Vigano,is now Vaticans US ambassador.
The scandal widened after leaked documents laid bare power struggles inside the Vatican over its efforts to show financial transparency.
La Stampa and La Repubblica,quoting insiders who themselves leaked papers,said there are leakers among cardinals but the Secretariat of State could not say that,so they arrested the butler,who only delivered the papers.
The Secretariat is run by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone,the popes right-hand man,and the scandal appears to involve a power struggle between his allies and foes. The scandal has shaken the very heart of the Catholic Church,with the Popes critics saying lack of strong leadership has opened the door to infighting among his aides and potentially to corruption alleged in the leaked documents.