Vatileaks or Vatican whistleblower is none other than Pope’s own butler who has been arrested and charged with leaking information
(NVONews.Com) The source of all the news reports and a book on corruption, nepotism, mismanagement, internal conflict and cronyism within the Vatican has been identified––as it is claimed. He is none else but Pope Benedict XVI’s own butler. If proved guilty he can face jail of 30 years, a rare development in the history of Roman Catholic Church. But the matter is not going to die down easily as the issues involved are quite serious and give an idea of the state of affairs within the Holy See.
Vatican City magistrates have charged 46-year-old Paolo Gabriele as the suspect in their investigation, saying he illegally took confidential documents.
A series of media leaks, dubbed Vatileaks, has caused huge embarrassment to Papacy. Fed up by the allegations last month, Pope Benedict XVI set up a special commission of cardinals to find the source of the confidential memos, which had been appearing in Italian newspapers, magazines and television programmes. Gianluigi Nuzzi, a respected Italian journalist, even went on to write a book, His Holiness, based on these information.
Gabriele is the Pope’s personal butler and assistant and one of very few laymen to have access to his private apartments. He lives with his wife and three children in an apartment within the Vatican walls, where Italian media report that a stash of confidential documents had been discovered.
He is considered as a devout and simple man. Some call him a pawn in the power struggle among cardinals while others feel that he is a whistleblower.
The Vatican judge, Piero Antonio Bonnet, has been instructed to examine the evidence of the case and to decide whether there is sufficient material to proceed to trial.
Gabriele has nominated two lawyers capable of representing him at a Vatican tribunal, and has met with them. He would, the Vatican has said, have “all the juridical guarantees foreseen by the criminal code of the State of Vatican City.”
As the Vatican has no jail, Gabriele is being held in one of the three so-called “secure rooms” in the offices of the Vatican’s tiny police force inside the walled city-state, Reuters reports.
If convicted, he could face a sentence of up to 30 years for illegal possession of documents of a head of state, probably to be served in an Italian prison due to an agreement between Italy and the Vatican.
His Holiness, which hit the stand last week, reproduced confidential letters and memos between the Pope and his personal secretary.
The Vatican called the book “criminal” and vowed to take legal action against the author, publisher, and whoever leaked the documents. Saturday’s development is first step in this direction.
Last Thursday, the president of the Vatican Bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, was ousted by the Bank’s board. He too had been found to have leaked documents, though the official reason for his departure was that he had failed to do his job.
Tedeschi himself said the move had been a punishment for his attempt to make the Bank more open.
The leaked documents include a letter to Pope Benedict by the Vatican’s current ambassador to Washington alleging cronyism, nepotism and corruption among the administrators of Vatican City.
Gabriele was until his arrest on Wednesday night serving the Pope meals and helping him dress.
Reports said that the Pope was “pained” that someone in his domestic household had betrayed him.