WikiLeaks: Papal Nuncio "scolded" Filipino bishops in 2005, told them to stay out of politics

WikiLeaks is either the gift that keeps on giving or the curse that just won’t die. On slow news days, it’s definitely the former. Of course, it’s the latter to those who are compromised by the information that’s exposed. This time around, it’s Catholic bishops who are on the WikiLeaks spotlight.

WikiLeaks is either the gift that keeps on giving or the curse that just won’t quit. On slow news days, it’s definitely the former. Of course, it’s the latter for those who are compromised by the information that’s exposed.

 

This time around, it’s Catholic bishops who are on the WikiLeaks spotlight.

 

Philstar.com, quoting cables featured on WikiLeaks, reports: "The Papal Nuncio advised bishops to stay clear of political entanglements ’as per Vatican policy,’ specifically on the clamor to oust former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at the height of the ’Hello, Garci’ scandal in 2005."

 

The report quoted WikiLeaks data which alleged that "Italian Papal Nuncio, Monsignor Antonio Franco,  ’scolded’ the Catholic bishops during their July 9-10, 2005 annual conference in Manila."

 

The Philstar.com report then revealed that a U.S. embassy official asked Bishop Romulo de la Cruz, who attended the conference that year, about the allegation. De la Cruz confirmed the presence of the Papal Nuncio in the 2005 conference, but said that "Franco in no way scolded the bishops or referred in detail to Philippine domestic politics."

 

Former Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz also reasoned, "Not all information released by the website WikiLeaks can be taken as gospel truth."

 

However, an Inquirer.net report cited a WikiLeaks cable dated July 15, 2005,  which stated that "Msgr. Luis Montemayor, country director for the Philippines under the Vatican Secretariat of State, confirmed to Brent Hardt, deputy chief of mission and charge d'affaires of the US Embassy to theHoly See, that the Vatican, through Papal Nuncio Archbishop Antonio Franco, ’pressured the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines to remain neutral in the controversy surrounding Arroyo.’"

 

At this point, it’s safe to conclude that, perhaps, only God knows who’s telling the truth.

 

For more on this story, log on to Philstar.com and Inquirer.net.

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