Pope moves top official from secretariat of state to Colombia amid leaks fallout

The pope has transferred a top official from the Vatican's secretariat of state to Colombia amid swirling media speculation about the contents of a confidential report into the Vatican's leaks scandal.

Monsignor Ettore Balestrero was named undersecretary of the Vatican's Foreign Ministry in 2009. Pope Benedict XVI on Friday named him ambassador, or nunzio, to Colombia.

Italian newspapers for days have been rife with unsourced reports of the contents of the dossier, presented to Benedict in December, that three cardinals prepared after investigating the origins of the leaks. The scandal erupted last year after papers taken from the pope's desk were published. The pope's butler was convicted in October of aggravated theft.

The Vatican has refused to comment on the media reports, which have claimed the dossier was a factor in Benedict's decision to resign.