A Vatican spokesperson had claimed the recent US cable leaks are a matter of extreme seriousness.
The cables come from the US embassy at the Vatican and they describe the church's leadership as inflexible and out of touch, strongly criticizing the Vatican for its refusal to allow church officials to testify before a commission investigating decades of child abuse by Irish clerics.
The so-called Wikileaks cables reveal that the information requested by the Murphy Commission, which reported on allegations of abuse within the Catholic Church in Dublin in 2009, offended many in the Vatican, who were more concerned the Irish government had failed to respect the Vatican's sovereignty during their investigations.
Having their private opinions revealed in the press, the Vatican went into damage control mode in the press this weekend, hoping to put distance between the sentiments expressed in the cables and the public outcry that followed them.
In a statement released on Sunday the Vatican said: "Naturally these reports reflect the perceptions and opinions of the people who wrote them and cannot be considered as expressions of the Holy See itself, nor as exact quotations of the words of its officials. Their reliability must, then, be evaluated carefully and with great prudence, bearing this circumstance in mind."
The Vatican's daily newspaper L'Osservatore Romano chose to pointedly ignore the embarrassing leaks in its pages. Meanwhile the US embassy condemned the public appearance of the documents and promised that their relationship of co-operation would not be compromised.
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