FILE - In this Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2010 file photo Italian financial Police officers talk, in front of St. Peter's square at the Vatican. The Vatican is being besieged by near-daily leaks of confidential documents and tabloid-style reports about alleged money laundering at the Vatican bank, and in news reports Saturday Feb. 11, 2012, some conspiracy theorists highlight the upcoming crowning of 22 new cardinals, who will be partly responsible for electing the successor to the Pope himself. (AP Photo/Angelo Carconi, File)
— Money laundering at the Vatican bank. Corruption in the awarding of Vatican contracts. Even a purported plot to kill Pope Benedict XVI.
The Vatican is being besieged by near-daily leaks of confidential documents and tabloid-style reports of alleged financial mismanagement, political infighting and gossip about who might be the next pope — all coming out at an exceedingly delicate time for the Holy See and Benedict himself.
The frescoed halls of the Apostolic Palace have been buzzing about the leaks, which have emerged as the pontiff prepares for the ceremony next week to crown 22 new cardinals — the princes of the church who will elect his successor.