Loading
Pope's ex-butler sentenced to 18 months in prison
Pope Benedict's former butler Paolo Gabriele (R) sits at the start of the trial Sept. 29, 2012 at the Vatican. Credit: L'Osservatore Romano/CNA.
Pope Benedict's former butler Paolo Gabriele (R) sits at the start of the trial Sept. 29, 2012 at the Vatican. Credit: L'Osservatore Romano/CNA.
By David Kerr
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Paolo Gabriele, the Pope’s former butler, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison after being found guilty of stealing confidential Vatican papers -- but it is likely that the 46-year-old Italian will receive a pardon from Pope Benedict XVI.

Eyewitnesses said that Gabriele sat impassively as Judge Giuseppe Dalla Torre handed down the sentence. The three-year prison sentence was reduced to 18 months due to “mitigating circumstances,” including Gabriele’s lack of previous convictions, years of service and admission of wrongdoing.

Following the verdict, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the possibility of a papal pardon for Gabriele was now “very concrete and very likely.”

In his final address to the court Gabriele told the panel of three judges “I do not feel like I’m a thief,” adding that he “acted only out of visceral love for the Church of Christ and for its visible head on earth.” He said that he had acted alone and without accomplices. 

During the week-long trial, the judges had heard how Gabriele stole copies of confidential documents from the Papal Apartments. These included personal correspondence between Pope Benedict and various cardinals along with encrypted communications from papal ambassadors across the world.  Some of the papers were marked in German “to be destroyed” and were written in the Pope’s handwriting.

The butler’s Vatican apartment was searched by police officers on May 23, following the publication of several confidential letters in Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi’s book “Your Holiness.” In total, officers removed 82 crates of material from the Gabriele family home, including approximately 1,000 incriminating documents.

Paolo Gabriele worked in the Papal Household under both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. He was one of very few individuals who had daily access to the Pope. Within the close-knit family atmosphere of the Papal Apartment, Gabriele was affectionately nicknamed “Paoletto” or “little Paul.” He is married and has three children.

His defense lawyer, Cristiana Arru, described today’s verdict as a “good sentence” but did not rule out an appeal against the decision.

Tags: Vatican, Vatileaks, Pope Benedict XVI

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
Sep
30

Liturgical Calendar

September 30, 2014

Saint Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 9:51-56

Gospel
Date
09/30/14
09/29/14
09/28/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Job 3: 1-3, 11-17, 20-23
Gospel:: Lk 9: 51-56

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
09/30/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 9:51-56

Homily
Date
09/30/14
09/29/14
09/28/14