URGENT ¥¥¥ Vatican condemns gossip leaks scandal as 'calumny'

The Vatican on Saturday condemned recent reports in Italian media of intrigue, corruption and blackmail in the Catholic hierarchy in Rome as "gossip, disinformation and sometimes calumny".

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi also referred to the upcoming conclave to elect a successor to Pope Benedict XVI saying there was "unacceptable pressure to condition the vote of one or other member of the college of cardinals, who might be disliked for one reasons or another".