Vatican Butler Faces Charges For Leaking Secret Pope Docs

Kim LaCapria

A Vatican butler, servant to Pope Benedict XVI, has been arrested in a leaking case that has rocked the Catholic church hierarchy.

Vatican butler Paolo Gabriele stands accused of leaking hundreds of secret documents belonging to Pope Benedict XVI to the Italian press, actions he said were due to a desire to eradicate "evil and corruption everywhere in the Church," a prosecutor in the case has explained.

The Vatican butler is said to have been aided and abetted in his quest to right the wrongs of the church by Vatican IT expert Claudio Sciarpelletti, who has been charged for allegedly assisting Gabriele.

According to the New York Times, Vatican butler Gabriele has admitted to the leaks, saying that he felt the Pope was unaware of corruption in the ranks at the Vatican:

'Seeing evil and corruption everywhere in the church, I finally reached a point of degeneration, a point of no return, and could no longer control myself,' he said. The former butler was said to believe that 'a shock, perhaps through the media,' would provide a 'healthy' way 'to bring the Church back on the right track.' In some ways, he was said to have told investigators, he saw himself as an 'infiltrator' acting on behalf of the Holy Spirit."

If convicted, the Vatican butler -- whose tasks including serving the Pope as well as helping him dress in Papal attire -- could face six years in prison for the crimes of which he stands accused. Trials in the Vatican butler leaking case will be delayed until at least late September due to the fact that the tribunal handling the case is recessed until that date.

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