German customs officials intercepted a package addressed to the Vatican containing 14 cocaine-filled condoms, passing it onto Vatican police with the hope a culprit may claim it.
A finance ministry spokesman confirmed the incident as reported in German Bild am Sonntag (£) was seized in January at Leipzig international airport.
The package was posted from an unnamed South American country and addressed to the main postal centre at the Vatican. It had remained unclaimed since January, with investigators believing the intended recipient was likely tipped off to the package's interception.
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After being elevated to the status of cardinal by Pope Francis today, Vincent Nichols said the pope had given a "directness and immediacy to the call of Christ".
Archbishop Vincent Nichols is the only cardinal chosen from a European church, Father Christopher Jamison told ITV News.
Mr Jamison, who is a friend of the newly appointed cardinal, said that Pope Francis was putting a stronger emphasis on being "a poor church for the poor".
The leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales has been created a cardinal by Pope Francis.
The Most Rev Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, received the symbolic red hat at a consistory ceremony in Rome.
The Archbishop was one of 19 cardinals created during the ceremony this morning at St Peter's Basilica.
Former Pope Benedict made a surprise entrance into St. Peter's Basilica to attend a ceremony at which his successor, Pope Francis, was elevating 19 prelates to the high rank of cardinal.
Benedict, who resigned a year ago, sat quietly wearing a long white overcoat in the front row along with other cardinals.
It was the first time he has attended a papal ceremony since his resignation, although he and Francis have met several times.
The Archbishop of Westminster The Most Rev Vincent Nichols has said the Pope was appointing cardinals from a wide range of countries, including members of the clergy from cities with experience of "abject poverty".
Delivering the Thought for the Day on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, he said:
Some are drawn from places of real poverty: Burkina Faso, Haiti and the Philippines. The voice of those who live among and care for the poor is a voice Pope Francis wants to hear in his counsels.
He also wants around him those whose role is to lead communities of Catholic faith in the mega-cities of our world: Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Seoul and, in my case, London.
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Archbishop Vincent Nichols will be made a Cardinal by Pope Francis on today.
The leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales will join 18 others being elevated to the rank of cardinal in a consistory ceremony at the Vatican.
Sixteen of them are under 80 - meaning they will have the right to vote for the pope's eventual successor.
A report by United Nations has attacked the Vatican for covering up decades of sexual abuse of children.
The report demanded the Vatican "immediately remove" all clergy who are known or suspected child abusers and hand them to the authorities.
ITV News diplomatic correspondent John Ray reports: