Police: Pope wanted documents destroyed
VATICAN CITY — Vatican police said on Wednesday they found thousands of documents hidden inside the home of Pope Benedict XVI's former butler, including original documents signed by the pope bearing indications they should be destroyed.
The police officers testified in the trial of Paolo Gabriele, the pope's once-trusted butler who faces four years in prison if convicted of aggravated theft for allegedly stealing papal documents and leaking them.
Prosecutors have said Gabriele, a devout 46-year-old father of three, confessed to leaking copies of the documents to journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi because he wanted to expose the “evil and corruption” in the church to help put it back on the right path.
The documents have ignited an uproar, for they revealed infighting and alleged corruption in the Vatican as the pope grows older and more frail. The security breach has been one of the most damaging scandals of Benedict's seven-year papacy.
Gabriele said Tuesday he stood by his June 5 confession and acknowledged he betrayed the pope's trust, but he nevertheless pleaded innocent to the charge of aggravated theft.
The final four witnesses in the trial were heard Wednesday and closing arguments are set for Saturday, when a verdict by the three-judge Vatican panel is expected.
A separate Vatican investigation began Tuesday after Gabriele's attorney complained that her client endured improper detention conditions during his first 20 days in jail.
On Wednesday, the officer in charge of Gabriele's care defended his treatment and said Gabriele “repeatedly” thanked him for taking such good care of him and his family.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Fate of anti-government protest lies in Pakistani military’s hands
- ISIS waterboarded Foley, other hostages
- U.N. fears 20,000 will be infected with Ebola
- U.S. student’s body found beside forest in Jerusalem
- ‘Holocaust T-shirt’ for kids discontinued in Spain
- China tells U.S. to cut back surveillance
- Toronto mayor, as volunteer football coach, made players roll in geese droppings, school board papers allege
- Russian tanks inside Ukraine
- Gaza militants kill 18 alleged spies for Israel
- Kenyan rangers killing poachers, rights group say
- Interpol probes Thailand’s ‘Baby Factory’