Vatican Police: Confidential Papers Found in Butler’s Home

Posted October 3rd, 2012 at 12:10 pm (UTC-5)
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Vatican police say they found more than 1,000 confidential papers inside the home of Pope Benedict's former butler, who is on trial for aggravated theft.

Police inspector Silvano Carli testified Wednesday the documents include original and photocopied Vatican documents, and that some show the pope's signature.

Another police officer, Stefano De Santis, told the court some of the documents are about the pontiff's private and family life.

Paolo Gabriele, a 46-year-old father of three, is being tried on charges of aggravated theft for allegedly stealing some of Pope Benedict's personal papers.

On Tuesday, Gabriele took the stand in his own defense and said he feels guilty for “having betrayed the trust of the Holy Father.” He admitted he photocopied private correspondences to expose evil and corruption in the church but steadfastly denied he was guilty of aggravated theft.

Prosecutors say Gabriele admitted during an interrogation before the trial that he leaked the documents to a journalist who was writing a book on alleged corruption in the church. Gabrielle faces up to four years in prison if convicted. Many Vatican observers say they expect Pope Benedict to pardon Gabriele if he is convicted.