October 25th, 2012
10:18 AM ET

Man who leaked pope's papers heads to jail

If Paolo Gabriele ever does get the pope's pardon, it won't be before he serves some jail time.

Gabriele, a former butler to Pope Benedict XVI, will start his 18-month sentence in a Vatican cell Thursday for taking secret papers from the pope's personal apartment and leaking them to an author who included them in a best-selling book, the Vatican said.

Gabriele, one of the pope's closest personal assistants, was convicted in Vatican City court October 6 of aggravated theft. He was arrested in May, following a Vatican investigation into how the pope's private documents appeared in the book "Sua Santita" ("His Holiness") by Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi. The book, based on the papers, revealed claims of corruption in the church's hierarchy - claims that could affect who becomes the next pope.

The Holy See's media office has repeatedly said that the pope could pardon Gabriele. But on Thursday, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarisco Bertone said that Gabriele would first have to express repentance and make "a sincere request for pardon to the supreme pontiff and those who have been unjustly offended."

In court this month, Gabrielle declared himself not guilty, but said he had abused the pope's trust. His lawyer told the court that while his actions were illegal, they were morally motivated and she hoped that one day "they will be recognized and applauded."

He did not appeal his sentence, according to the Vatican.

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Filed under: Catholic Church • Christian • Italy • Religion • The Vatican
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. cathy

    he should be given a medal

    October 25, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  2. digitalclips

    How Christian of the Pope! Very forgiving eh? It's strange how those that claim to be 'Christian' the loudest seem to rely on the Old Testament the most for their actions.

    October 25, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  3. Holy See?

    Spiritually blind, obviously. He couldn't even "Holy See" his own priests and bishops lusting for tight layman boy anus!

    October 25, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • krussell

      Of course he saw. All the popes saw. That's how the cover-up worked so well for so many centuries.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ronvan

    WOW!! Obviously I am not catholic, but I did not realize the POWER of the pope! Thier OWN investigation, their OWN trial, their OWN jail!! How impressive on controlling your members! And of course just repent and you will be forgiven!?
    Here I thought God was the one that forgave? Never could understand how you could kill, torture, etc., and all you had to do was to confess, do some praying, hail marys, and ALL is forgiven! Sorry folks, for me that is Gods decision and ONLY his!!

    October 25, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  5. Formerly Catholic

    Interesting how the Catholic Church for decades has looked the other way when it came to child abuse. I guess what Gabriele did is more heinous in the eyes of the church.

    October 25, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seamusgirl

      Excellent point...this Pope is a joke! A joke made in poor taste.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mary

    One of many who will be exposing all false religions for what they are.
    @ Formerly Catholic, I concur
    @ ronvan, Many Religions handle things *internally*.
    Also, It's not a matter of *just* confessing your sins.
    We must humbly appeal to God, asking his forgiveness on the basis of our faith in the sacrifice Jesus made.
    Hope that clarifies things for you. 🙂

    October 25, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. banasy©

    The only real papers I want to see leaked are the ones that provide conclusive proof of what people have known for decades, and that the debased debauchery that is rampant within the RCC comes to an end, with those who are complicit in the crimes/cover up are prosecuted fully, and punished harshly.

    October 25, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. chrissy

    Sounds to me as if the wrong person is going to jail. Perhaps it should be the pope as he was the one hiding the printed evidence of the coruption. One must lead by example and obviously the pope isnt leadership material!

    October 26, 2012 at 1:10 am | Report abuse |
  9. mariner v

    So much for the teachings of Christ regarding forgiving one's enemies and turning the other cheek. Frauds all of them. The day we get religion our of our lives is the day mankind starts to make progress for civilization.

    October 26, 2012 at 3:18 am | Report abuse |
  10. Meh

    "Vatican cell"? That sure is convenient

    October 26, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  11. Babba Booey

    These catholic snakes have so much to hide that their jail would be full if all the honorable people were rounded up after giving away info on the corruption

    October 26, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  12. curious

    Ha, the pope's butler. Never trust a person over the age of 10 who doesn't do their own dishes and whipe their own...

    October 26, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  13. Lucian

    Don't you wish the church had been this aggressive towards the child molesters in their midst?

    October 26, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Scott Winterstein

    What happened to forgiveness?

    October 29, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. MyManDarwin

    Ahh Catholics....you silly kids and your high jinks! Little vatican and all.

    October 31, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
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