No papal pardon soon for ex butler, Vatican indicates
By Philip Pullella
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican on Thursday moved Pope Benedict's former butler, who admitted leaking sensitive documents, from house arrest to a cell in the city-state's police station and indicated he would not be getting a papal pardon anytime soon.
In a detailed statement that attacked Paolo Gabriele for violating papal trust, the Vatican insisted he acted alone in what it called a personal "criminal plan" that resulted in the biggest breach of Vatican security in recent history.
Gabriele, who was sentenced to 18 months by a court on October 6 for stealing and leaking the documents, was moved to the cell to serve the remainder of his term after the prosecution decided not to appeal, making the ruling definitive. The prosecution had asked for three years.
"(This) puts an end to a sad situation that has had many painful consequences," the Vatican statement said.
Gabriele was arrested in May for stealing documents from the pope's office and leaking them to the Italian media in what became known as the "Vatileaks" scandal.
Some of the documents alleged corruption in the Vatican's business dealings with Italian companies, laid bare rivalries and bickering at the highest levels of the Catholic Church, and disclosed internal conflict on the running of the Vatican bank.
The statement attacked Gabriele, who said during the trial he was influenced by a general malaise in the Vatican and had confided in some people within the Holy See's walls, saying he had "dealt a personal offence" to the pope.
It accused him of violating the privacy of other people by leaking their private correspondence with the pope, sullying the Holy See's reputation, damaging the working environment in the Vatican, and "causing scandal among the community of the faithful" of the 1.2-billion-member Church. Continued...