New Vatican leaks

Latest threat to Vatican reforms.

The script is better than a Dan Brown novel. A middle-aged good-looking Spanish priest associated with the ultra conservative religious order Opus Dei has been arrested and thrown into the Vatican prison. And a young attractive half-Italian half-Moroccan woman is helping police with enquiries. She was arrested but then released when she agreed to co-operate with the investigations.

The charges against Monsignor Vallejo Balda and Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui are of stealing top-secret Vatican documents relating to the finances of the Holy See.

Both of the accused held positions on a committee that was set up in 2013 by Pope Francis to reform the Holy See's muddled finances. They are clearly much more important figures than Pope Benedict's butler who was the last person caught helping himself to secrets from a papal vault.

What are the secrets that the two are accused of stealing from one of the Vatican's computers?

All will be revealed in two books by Italian journalists to be published later this week, if the Vatican does not manage to put an injunction on the scoops.

In addition to revelations on the Vatican finances another interesting question is how Chaouqui, whose photo would not be out of place in a fashion magazine, managed to secure a place in the central corridors of Vatican power where women – let alone young women specialising in public relations and communications – are a scarce commodity?