More detail from Jimmy Akin in regard to the leak of a draft of the Green Encyclical by Sandro Magister. (PopeWatch’s Italian is far too shaky for him to quote Magister until Magister comments in English):
6) How did Magister get the text?
This is unknown at present. In his article, he refers to the text having a “troubled” history and alludes to the first copies that the Vatican publishing house made having been pulped (destroyed) because of various places where they needed to be corrected.
It is possible that someone rescued one of the copies meant to be pulped and gave it to Magister. If so, he may have gotten it from a lower level person, such as a worker tasked with arranging for the copies to be pulped.
On the other hand, they could have come from someone higher placed.
If Magister’s text came from the batch that was pulped then that could explain why the Vatican Press Office said that it wasn’t the final version.
On the other hand, Magister may have been given a copy from a different batch, after some corrections were made. In any event, the Holy See Press Office says it isn’t the final copy.
7) How different will the final version be?
There is no way to know until Thursday.
Assuming that Magister is correct that a batch was pulped, this may have been due to nothing more than typos that needed to be corrected.
It is not at all uncommon for publishers to pulp runs of a publication that have typos which are caught at the last minute, assuming that the typos are significant enough. In my own experience with publishers, I’ve seen it done.
On the other hand, there may be more than typo fixes. This could happen, for example, if Pope Francis asked for certain editorial changes to be made and then, in the editorial process, these fell through the cracks and their absence was caught only at the last minute.
8) Why was the text leaked?
Without knowing who leaked it, there is no way to tell.
If it was a janitor who plucked a copy from a batch that were on their way to be shredded, it may simply have been that he knew Magister would be interested in a scoop and he wanted to be part of an exciting story (or possibly even be paid for his efforts).
Such an employee may not have read the text and there may be no larger agenda on his part.
On the other hand, if a person of higher stature leaked it—someone who had been entrusted with working on the text and read the content of the document—then there might be a deliberate intention to undermine the encyclical and its message.
9) How could the leak undermine the encyclical?
Part of the point of having an official release, with a press conference and everything, is to create on opportunity to get the document off on the best footing.
The media hops on it all at once, creating something of a saturation effect in different news channels, and the Holy See has the chance—via the press conference and associated materials given out to the press—to frame the story its way.
For a text to appear early can let some of the air out of the official release, and it can allow the text to be framed in ways contrary to the spin that the Holy See wants put on it.
In this case, because we have a pre-final draft, it will also cause attention to zero-in on the changes that were made between this draft and the final one, which may cause people to speculate about why those changes were made and what significance they might have (if they’re just typos or edits that were accidentally omitted and later caught: not much).
Further, this event raises the specter of the VatiLeaks scandal, in which Benedict XVI’s own butler was funneling private Vatican documents to the press as part of his own agenda.
This event raises the question of whether there are additional leakers—or new leakers—who are in some way seeking to undermine Pope Francis.
Go here to read the rest. The Vatican normally leaks like a roof put on by the Marx Brothers and the Three Stooges so PopeWatch is rather more surprised by the lack of leaks up to now than the leaks. Akin has zeroed in on the relevant question: who leaked it. Magister has the best sources of any journalist at the Vatican so PopeWatch would bet on a high level leaker very unhappy with this encyclical.