Vatican City, March 4 - Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras said Monday transparency was needed in the next papacy and that Benedict XVI's "clean-up" initiatives must go forward. "I am convinced that the clean-up initiatives of (former Cardinal Joseph) Ratzinger had to continue because it is written in the Gospels that the truth shall set you free," said Maradiaga, whom many have signalled as a possible candidate for pope. "We must present a Church with a transparent face, one that is at peace and at ease". Maradiaga was speaking outside the first general congregation of cardinals ahead of the conclave to elect a new pope. Benedict became the first pope to resign in 600 years on Thursday. Leading up to his abdication, Benedict had commissioned a 300-page, two-volume report on the so-called Vatileaks scandal, in which his own butler was arrested then pardoned for leaking secret Church documents of alleged corruption to the Italian press. Unsourced reports in Italian media in recent weeks have said that the report's findings were a final straw for Benedict to step down.
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di Giovanni Pastore