Vatican City: Pope Benedict XVI spoke to three retired cardinals on Sunday who is carrying out a probe into a leaked-documents scandal that has rocked the Vatican.

The closed-door meeting took place in the afternoon, according to the pope's schedule, but no information filtered out.

It was the first time since the pope's butler Paolo Gabriele was arrested May 23 that such a meeting has been announced.

The cardinals are Spaniard Julian Herranz, Jozef Tomko of Slovakia and Italian Salvatore De Giorgi, all aged over 80 years old.

The so-called "Vatileaks" scandal has shaken the Roman Catholic Church and drawn attention to divisions between senior clergymen in the Vatican.

Gabriele was arrested by Vatican police on suspicion of being the source of the leaks but commentators quoted by Italian media say there were likely to be other moles in the Holy See administration.

(Agencies)


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