The events surrounding Pope Benedict's resignation and the election of his successor will likely be the subject of inquiry for a very, very long time. Today, the Holy See issued a statement that served to heighten the intrigue further:
The Holy Father received in audience this morning Cardinals Julian Herranz, Jozef Tomko, and Salvatore De Giorgi, who formed the commission to investigate the leaks of private information. They were accompanied by the commissions secretary, Fr. Luigi Martignani, O.F.M., Cap.At the conclusion of their mission, the Holy Father thanked them for the helpful work they did, and expressed satisfaction for the results of the investigation. Their work made it possible to detect, given the limitations and imperfections of the human factor of every institution, the generosity and dedication of those who work with uprightness and generosity in the Holy See at the service of the mission entrusted by Christ to the Roman Pontiff.The Holy Father has decided that the acts of this investigation, known only to himself, remain solely at the disposition of the new pope.
Investigations ordinarily end with either a confirmation of allegations or a rejection. But in this case, we are told the investigation found that those in the Vatican who are generous and dedicated are working with generosity and uprightness - hardly a determination that needs to be reserved only for the eyes of the next pope. So obviously there is something more to it.
Paul Moses, a professor of journalism at Brooklyn College/CUNY, is the author of The Saint and the Sultan: The Crusades, Islam and Francis of Assisi's Mission of Peace (Doubleday, 2009) and An Unlikely Union: The Love-Hate Story of New York's Irish and Italians (NYU Press, 2015).