Wikileaks not ‘Gospel,’ says archbishop
Vatican ‘would not concern itself with such a small matter as local poll fraud’
The website earlier revealed that the Holy See pressured the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to remain neutral in the controversy surrounding alleged fraud during the 2005 national elections.
“One should also be perceptive [when] reading it…. Most of [the information] is perceptions,” said Archbishop Oscar Cruz, former head of the bishops’ conference.
He said what WikiLeaks reveals is not “Gospel truth,” adding that “WikiLeaks has a lot of wonderful things but you don’t take it hook, line and sinker.”
“The Vatican has global concerns and I don’t think that it will involve itself in such a ‘small thing’ as [the poll anomaly],” said Archbishop Cruz.
“I can say for certainty because I was there all along. The Vatican was not even mentioned. This is the first time I heard about it,” he said.
In a confidential cable dated July 15, 2005, WikiLeaks revealed that Monsignor Luis Montemayor, country director for the Philippines of the Vatican Secretariat of State, told Brent Hardt, deputy chief of mission and charge d’affaires of the US embassy to the Holy See, that the Vatican, through then papal nuncio Archbishop Antonio Franco, “pressured” the CBCP to remain neutral in the controversy surrounding the alleged poll anomaly.
Montemayor reportedly said that the Vatican “put a lot of pressure on the bishops” not to support protests calling for former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s resignation.
The Vatican reportedly insisted that “the bishops distinguish between pastoral care and political involvement.”
In July 2005, the bishops issued a statement calling on Arroyo “simply to dismiss such a call from others” for her resignation.