Nothing all that new?
I have to say I must be missing something, because none of them seem to contain anything all that new:
- Fr Z has been lamenting the Vatican's technophobia and disorganization when it comes to the media for years as if was needed: who after all, can forget Archbishop Fisichella saying the new Vatican organisation for the New Evangelization would work closely with the internet - and as a starting point, he would acquire a computer for himself?! And American views on its effect on the management of various media crises in recent times has been the subject of a sustained critique by writers such as George Weigel and Robert Moynihan;
- the Anglican Ordinariate was in response to Australian and UK requests. Wow. Have the newspapers never heard of the Traditional Anglican Communion's request for union with Rome?;
- Vatican attitudes to the procedures (or lack thereof) of the Irish child abuse inquiry were in the media at the time, as was commentary on the Pope's attitude to Turkey in the EU.
The rest of it seems to be the normal workings of diplomacy behind the scenes. Is it really such a surprise that the Vatican is actively engaged in the diplomatic scene? If so, I'm not sure just what people thought all those ambassadors to the Holy See and Papal legates have been doing all these years!
Still, I obviously am missing something, since the newspaper headings all talk about "revelations". Or could that be because they are trying to sell newspapers? Labelling it a revelation and repackaging old news as new by virtue of its appearance in a cable seems to me to be a great marketing scam for the papers concerned. But should we be falling for it?
Still, the Vatican itself has put our a statement pointing out the obvious, that the cables reflect the views of those who wrote them, not necessarily those of the Vatican, and should be read with prudence.
The ethics of wikileaks
Meanwhile the ethics of wikileaks gets ever murkier. Its head is in jail, accused of rape by two women who on the face of it are left-wing sympathisers of his cause. A number of members of his organisation are forming a breakaway site, angered at Assange's refusal to remove the names of people endangered by the cables, and otherwise exercise some sensible judgment on the releases. And the next major round of releases, it is rumoured, could bring down a few banks...
Mercatornet have a couple of useful articles on the ethics of it all; if you are interested, start with this one.
Meanwhile back in Australia Get Up are lobbying in favour of Assange, using the excuse of extreme US reactions. Yes, sure. They are really worried about the views of unelected politicians who hold no positions of responsibility whatsoever such as Sarah Palin. Give me a break...