May 26

Paolo Gabriele: from papal butler to accused traitor (Telegraph/Reuters, May 26, 2012):

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Paolo Gabriele was always a reserved, almost shy man, as his position required. He had access to the most private rooms in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace – Pope Benedict’s apartment.

But what could have prompted the pope’s butler, who was formally charged by Vatican magistrates on Saturday with illegal possession of secret documents, to betray the man who trusted him?

Was it money? Probably not.

Gianluigi Nuzzi, the Italian journalist who revealed some of the leaked documents alleging corruption in the Vatican and internal conflict over the role of the Vatican bank, declines to reveal his sources but insists he gave no money to them.

Nuzzi, a respected journalist with a good track record whose book “His Holiness” contains some of the allegations, says those who gave him the documents were devout people “genuinely concerned about the Catholic Church” who wanted to expose corruption.

The 46-year-old Gabriele, facing up to 30 years in prison if convicted, lives in a comfortable apartment in the Vatican with his wife and three children, and is said by all who knew him to be very religious.

While Vatican employees do not receive large salaries, they do enjoy benefits such as low rent, no income tax, and cheap food and petrol at the commissaries of the 108-acre city-state.

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