Pope Benedict

Pope Benedict

July 2, 2012

Pope Benedict asked some of his closest advisers for guidance on how to restore trust and confidence in the Catholic Church's leadership amid a scandal over leaks of confidential Vatican papers.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said the pope called two extraordinary meetings June 23 to "deepen his reflections" over the leaks and its consequences.

Paolo Gabriele, the pope's personal butler, was arrested May 23 after confidential letters and documents addressed to the pope and others within the Vatican administration were allegedly found in his Vatican apartment.

Many of the documents were published in Italian media over the past several months and in a recently released best-selling book by an Italian journalist.

The first of the pope's meetings was with cardinals heading the various congregations and councils that make up the Roman Curia, the central government of the Church.

Although the pope meets these men periodically, the morning encounter was "particularly important and urgent to effectively demonstrate the unity of spirit that guides it," Lombardi said.

The second meeting was with five cardinals, including Canada's Cardinal Marc Ouellet, who Lombardi said had been chosen for their experience both in Rome and in the worldwide Church.

Lombardi said the five were chosen to give counsel to the pope on how to "restore a climate of serenity and trust in the work of the Roman Curia."