Prague archbishop says Vatileaks 'not top priority'

But others say cardinals want to be briefed on secret dossier

Prague archbishop says Vatileaks 'not top priority'

Rome, March 5 - Cardinal Dominik Duka of the Czech Republic told the Italian press Tuesday that the Vatican leaks scandal was not a top priority during the general congregations this week in Rome. "I don't think Vatileaks is at the top of the list," the archbishop of Prague told Italian daily Il Messaggero. "I believe the big, central problem (facing Catholicism) is people leaving the faith". The scandal erupted last year when the pope's butler was arrested then eventually pardoned for leaking sensitive Church documents that spoke of alleged Vatican corruption. Unsourced reports in Italian media have speculated that a 300-page, two-volume Vatican dossier compiled for Benedict XVI could have been the final straw that led him to step down as pope on February 28. The report, which was commissioned by Benedict, will remain under lock and key for the next pope, the Vatican has announced. But it has hinted that some of its contents may be disclosed to cardinals in Rome for the upcoming conclave to elect Benedict's successor. Over 100 of the 115 cardinal-electors are currently at the Vatican for pre-conclave talks known as general congregations. On Monday, Reuters reported that cardinals in a closed-door meeting said they want to be briefed on the Vatileaks dossier, according to a senior source said to be a prelate over 80 who was present at Monday's meetings. Cardinals over 80 are not eligible to vote in the conclave. On Tuesday, the Czech cardinal confirmed Benedict's stated reason for stepping down due to lack of physical and mental strength. "He resigned above all due to the state of his physical strength," he said.

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