Pope’s butler starts 18-month sentence for leaking private papers

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI’s former butler on Thursday (Oct. 25) started serving his 18-month jail term for stealing … Continued

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI’s former butler on Thursday (Oct. 25) started serving his 18-month jail term for stealing the pontiff’s private papers and leaking them to the press.

The Vatican’s chief spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Paolo Gabriele would be transferred on Thursday to the small detention facility inside the headquarters of the Vatican police. The cells have been recently refurbished, according to Lombardi.

Gabriele was sentenced on Oct. 6 to 18 months in jail after a weeklong trial. Neither his lawyer nor prosecutors appealed the sentence.

In a statement, the Vatican Secretariat of State said the former butler would also lose his job.

Gabriele can still appeal for a papal pardon, but that would require “a sincere request for forgiveness from the Holy Father and from all those who were unjustly offended,” as well as a recognition of the gravity of his crimes, according to the statement.

The Vatican statement stressed Gabriele’s actions had “personally hurt” the pope, harmed the Holy See, scandalized Catholics and “disrupted the serenity” of Vatican employees.

According to a 20-page indictment issued by a Vatican judge, the former butler told prosecutors that he started the leaks because he was convinced that “evil and corruption” were “everywhere” in the church, and that he acted as an “infiltrator” of the Holy Spirit.

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Religion News Service LLC.

  • Angelika Hirtler

    Publicize something incriminating about the corrupt Vatican – spend a year and a half in jail. Molest a dozen kids and ruin their childhoods? Get defrocked. They really are the poster children for ethical living, aren’t they?


    The Vatican’s justice system has change for the better since the Inquisition.

Read More Articles

Top 10 Reasons We’re Glad A Catholic Colbert Is Taking Over Letterman’s “Late Show”

How might we love Stephen Colbert as the “Late Show” host? Let us count the ways.

God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

An Untold Story of Bondage to Freedom: Passover 1943

How a foxhole that led to a 77-mile cave system saved the lives of 38 Ukrainian Jews during the Holocaust.

Friend or Foe? Learning from Judas About Friendship with Jesus

We call Judas a betrayer. Jesus called him “friend.”

Fundamentalist Arguments Against Fundamentalism

The all-or-nothing approach to the Bible used by skeptics and fundamentalists alike is flawed.

Mary Magdalene, the Closest Friend of Jesus

She’s been ignored, dismissed, and misunderstood. But the story of Easter makes it clear that Mary was Jesus’ most faithful friend.

The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

How to Debate Christians: Five Ways to Behave and Ten Questions to Answer

Advice for atheists taking on Christian critics.

Heaven Hits the Big Screen

How “Heaven is for Real” went from being an unsellable idea to a bestselling book and the inspiration for a Hollywood movie.

This God’s For You: Jesus and the Good News of Beer

How Jesus partied with a purpose.

Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.

Dear Evangelicals, Please Reconsider Your Fight Against Gay Rights

A journalist and longtime observer of American religious culture offers some advice to his evangelical friends.