By Albert Angulo
Paolo Gabriele, 46, was arrested this week for illegal possession of confidential documents found in his apartment in Vatican City. Gabriele has been the Papal butler since 2006 and is one of the few people who have access to Pope Benedict XVI’s private desk. A senior Vatican source says that some of the purloined documents reportedly allege cronyism and corruption in Vatican contracts. The arrest is the first break in the “Vatileaks” scandal involving the leaking of secret papers, including papal letters.
The Vatican has been at the center of a scandal involving the leak to Italian media of documents for the majority of this year. Among the documents are personal letters to the pope.
“The pope began to cry and then he became angry and vowed that the truth will come out,” stated an inside source from The Vatican. Pope Benedict is reported to be shocked and saddened by the leaks and ordered several investigations, including one headed by Vatican police and another by a commission of cardinals. The Vatican has neither confirmed nor denied whether any of the documents are authentic, stating only that the breach of privacy is a criminal act. As a sovereign power, the Vatican has its own judicial system under which Gabriele will be tried.