The Vatican is a bit perturbed at all the scandalous chatter being emitted by the Italian press.
There are articles about the reason the Pope is resigning, giving air time to speculation that the clerical sex abuse revelations weighed too heavily on thin German shoulders.
There won't be any of this power of the press thing going on, to influence the selection of the next Pope. Cardinal Lombardi has quashed those tall tales in no uncertain terms.
So don't even dare to suggest that important clergymen are in danger of being blackmailed by their secular, and homosexual, lovers.
That being the case, Cardinal Lombardi, then why has Cardinal Keith O'Brien so abruptly tendered his resignation?
And how is it that he stands accused of innapropriate sexual contact with at least four priests?
Clearly, Cardinal Lombardi cannot be accused of making a false statement. His colleague from Northern Europe, the leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, is not being blackmailed by the laity but by the clergy, so there you have it.
The rumours, therefore, are wholly untrue.
In a bureaucracy as Macchiavellian as the Holy See, you would expect all sorts of skullduggery, with plenty of backstabbing as those seeking power waltz through the steps of a courtly but lethal dance.
The first steps were taken some time ago, when the Pope's butler stole documents and letters which reflected a thoroughly dysfunctional government, complete with banking irregularities, power struggles and petty bickering. The cardinals not in power started the process of toppling those with too much power, while those with power, like Cardinal Lombardi, do all they can to hang on.
Remember the scene in The Godfather, where a rash of murders was juxtaposed with the baptism of an innocent baby? That's what the Vatican would look like if the Cardinals' vendetta used guns instead of words. In the halls of the city-state, however, no blood flows across the floor, but one Cardinal's career has been snuffed out with equal ferocity.
So that would make Cardinal O'Brien the Barzini of the Holy See. Now who will portray Tattaglia or Moe Greene? Which Cardinal thinking he's going to Rome to elect the next Pope will instead be pushed off his pedestal?