The Vatican spokesman has sought to play down a pair of books recounting financial malfeasance and greed within the Vatican, saying many of the disclosures were already known.

The Rev. Federico Lombardi also emphasized Wednesday that the illegally leaked documents that provided information for the books were the result of "data and information put in motion by the Holy Father himself" as part of efforts his efforts to reform the Vatican bureaucracy and finances.

Lombardi said in comments for Vatican Radio that the publication of "a large bulk of information" that referred to events that by now were "outdated" created an impression of "a permanent reign of confusion, of non-transparency and even the pursuit of individual interests" that runs counter to Pope Francis' efforts to reform the Vatican.