The Pope’s personal butler, Paolo Gabriele, has been arrested after secret documents were found in his apartment in Vatican City on Wednesday.
Newser reports that the arrest comes a few days after the book Your Holiness: The Secret Papers of Benedict XVI were published by an Italian journalist, who used papers from “Maria” to describe the corruption going on in the papacy.
The papers allege that the Catholic head is besieged by political games, corruption, and cronyism (allegations that surfaced earlier this year).
The Huffington Post reports that The Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi confirmed the arrest on Saturday, adding a Hollywood drama twist to the “Vatileaks” scandal.
Gabriele is normally seen next to Pope Benedict XVI’s side in public, having bee his personal butler since 2006. He could also be seen riding in the front seat of the car, or shielding the Pope from the rain. He is one of the few members of the Pope’s small household, which also includes the pontiff’s private secretaries and four consecrated women, who care for the Pope’s apartment.
Andrea Tornielli, a Vatican expert for the Italian daily La Stampa and its Web site, Vatican Insider, stated according to The New York Times that:
“Of course there are problems, big problems. What is happening now shows that there’s a crisis.”
The New York Times reports that Gianluigi Nuzzi, the writer of the recently published book about the Vatileaks scandal, stated:
“[The source was motivated by] courage, as well as the unbearable complicity with people that are committing the most serious crimes. I think that 20 years ago this book would have never come out. There are documents that hint at relations between states, and that’s why I think they are very relevant; they are not private documents regarding the Holy Father or one of the cardinals.”
The Huffington Post reports that Lombardi spoke of Paolo Gabriele’s arrest on Saturday, calling it a sad development for all Vatican Staff. He further stated:
“Everyone knows him in the Vatican, and there’s certainly surprise and pain, and great affection for his beloved family.”
Gabriele is still being held by police, although he has not yet been indicted.