Vatican: Pope's butler 'may' get papal pardon says spokesman
last update: October 23, 12:32
Vatican City, 23 Oct. (AKI) - Pope Benedict XVI could pardon his former butler Paolo Gabriele who was earlier this month jailed for 18 months for stealing private papal correspondence, the Vatican said on Tuesday.
"A papal pardon remains a possibility but we cannot predict if, how and when," said Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi.
He was briefing journaalists on the written explanation issued Tuesday by the the three-judge tribunal of how it reached its 6 October ruling against Gabriele, who was convicted of aggravated theft and sentenced to 18 months in jail, currently being served under house arrest.
The judges' explanation sharply criticised Gabriele for harming the pope, the Holy See and the entire Catholic Church.
His actions "not only violated the fundamental right to the good name and reserve owed all involved, but also the secrecy of actions owed to a sovereign," they said.
Gabriele contradicted himself in his testimony, the judges noted, but they said several valuable objects found in his apartment and a cheque for 100,000 euros did not appear to have been stolen from the Vatican.
While there was no evidence that Gabriele had benefitted financially from removing and photocopying the confidential papers, he may have "profitted intellectually and morally" from his actions, the judges said.
Gabriele confessed to photocopying papal documents and giving them to an Italian journalist to expose the "evil and corruption" around him.
The papal letters that laid bare corruption and venomous power struggles in the Vatican. Dubbed the 'Vatileaks' scandal it was the Holy See's biggest security breach in modern times.
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