Rorate Caeli

Life imitates fiction
The source of the Pope's secret letters? His butler

From Italian news website Orticalab:

The Pope betrayed by his butler
The "mole" is found, it is the house steward of the Pontifical Family, Paolo Gabriele

 Friday, May 25, 2012

When reality exceeds fiction. Paolo Gabriele, the house steward of the Pontifical Family, that is, the butler of Pope Benedict, is the "mole" that has passed on the secret letters of His Holiness [published in the book His Holiness, published this week in Italy - see previous post].

At this moment, this is what seems to be the end of an obscure affair that has lasted for several months in the sacred palaces. ... [F]rom what can be learned from Vatican sources, Ratzinger's enemy would be his closest lay helper. The one who, together with secretaries [Monsignors] Georg Gänswein and Alfred Xuereb and the four Memores Domini [consecrated laywomen] of Communion and Liberation, shares the day with Benedict XVI. From the morning rise to the mass in the private Chapel in the Pontifical apartment, to meals and audiences. A very hard blow for Joseph Ratzinger, surrounded in his home by the wolves whom he had mentioned at the beginning of his pontificate.

Gabriele is under arrest at the moment. This morning, the Pope's butler was heard in a hearing conducted by the Vatican prosecutor, Nicola Picardi. The inquiry conducted by the Vatican Gerdarmerie on the leaking of secret documents "has led to the identification of one person in the illicit possession of reserved documents." Thus said Father Federico Lombardi, explaining that this person "is now at the disposal of the Vatican judicial authorities for further investigations." 

[Tip: reader] Let us pray for our Holy Father.
_________________________


[Update] Gabriele is a holdover of the Wojtyla Pontificate, during which he served in other positions in the Holy See. If he is indeed a source of leaked documents, he is probably merely one of several sources, according to several reports.

A Roman [by birth], a little over 40, the man has worked in the Pontifical apartment since 2006, and was brought into the Papal Family after being in the service of the Prefect of the Pontifical Household, Abp. James Harvey.

The crimes of which he may be charged may lead to up to "30 years in prison":

The acts of which he is accused are in fact extremely grave: the criminal legal definition is that of violation of the correspondence of a Head of State, which is similar to an act against the security of the State. In the case, the Vatican legislation makes use of the Italian one and it is possible that - if convicted - he will spend [the prison time] in Italy, since there is no penitentiary in the Vatican City State.

44 comments:

NIANTIC said...

How very sad and hurt our Holy Father must feel today. Pray for him. May our Lord and Lady embrace him with their infinite love.

Francis said...

The butler is always the culprit, whether at the Vatican or in mystery movies and books. The Holy Father should've suspected him right away.

Marty Jude said...

His Holiness seems to be isolated. Surely, there must be some human that he can trust?

I hope you're joking, Francis - I can see the irony in your comment!

The 'only' weapon the Holy Father has, and we have, is Prayer.

I pray too that Our Lord and Our Blessed Mother will comfort and protect him

Vinitor said...

What a painful experience this must be for the Holy Father. It reminds me of Zechariah's prophecy of our Lord's passion:

6 And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then He shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.

-Zechariah 13:6

Oremus Pro Pontifice Nostro, Benedicto, Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius.

J. G. Ratkaj said...

The Holy see would be well advised use this shameful abuse of trust as an opportunity to finally establish an intra-church intelligence service like la Sapinière under Pius X to trace the plotters against His Holiness and the church.

Francis said...

@Marty Jude

I was being sarcastic while at the same time trying to relay the fact that very powerful men, like the Holy Father, should suspect EVERYONE in His inner circle about leaks or for anything else. I would rather trust in the protection of the Holy Ghost than in any man if I were His Holiness.

Andrew said...

Like Our Lord, the Vicar of Christ is betrayed by those closest to him. How sad. Pray for the Pope!

Also, this butler had such a wonderful position. I would love to have his job. Imagine being able to spend all day at the heart of the Church helping the Holy Father. What an honour and this guy throws it all away for nothing. Pray for him too!

carthusian said...

Caution here. Other Italian sources are claiming these documents were planted by higher ups in the Curia. These sources are also saying the Pope believes this is possible.

P.K.T.P. said...

There is a direct parallel between this incident and one or two suffered by our royal family. Domestics at Buck House should now be able to command the incomes of bank presidents just for a promise to keep discreet! In the old days, an officer in the royal house, armed with a riding crop, would have left the culprit in a very bad state, if even still living.

Reminds me of yet another parallel and it shows why popes and kings and presidents should chat from time to time. Apparently, Nicolæ Ceaucescu once visited the Palace at Versailles to meet President Mitterand, before going off to London to meet the Queen. As the story goes, Mitterand phoned the Queen and warned H.M. to remove anything valuable from Ceaucescu's rooms before he got there. Apparently, Mrs. C., who was as much as rustic rube and thug as was her husband, took more than the towels when she left Versailles: she stole some very valuable items.

All the more reason to have kings rather than presidents. You never know when your president will turn out to be a cocaine-sniffing barbarian.

P.K.T.P.

New Catholic said...

Yes, carthusian, we know it. But he is the man currently under arrest and with whom the documents were found. The fact is that this is a complete mess, but it still provides the opportunity for a complete overhaul, as it should have happened in the beginning of the pontificate.

John said...

"Every break dawn is a breakthrough."
D.H Lawrence

Who is/are his handler/s?

Marty Jude said...

Francis said...
"@Marty Jude

I was being sarcastic while at the same time trying to relay the fact that very powerful men, like the Holy Father, should suspect EVERYONE in His inner circle about leaks or for anything else. I would rather trust in the protection of the Holy Ghost than in any man if I were His Holiness."

Yea, couldn't agree more Francis. Who can we trust, but our God?!

John (Ad Orientem) said...

I would rather trust in the protection of the Holy Ghost than in any man if I were His Holiness.

Unfortunately the Holy Spirit has shown scant interest in the more mundane things like cleaning, making the beds and cooking/serving meals. Once upon a time the ability to retain "servants" was a sign that you had moved up from the working class into the respectable middle class. Today, at least on this side of the pond, even the very wealthy rarely have a formal domestic staff. But I would imagine that heads of state and royalty would still keep a butler with footmen and the like. But for the rest of us I think the world of "Downton Abbey" is to be found now only in period films and history books. Oh well.

Off to see what I can scrounge for a light no meat fish wine oil or dairy lunch. It's Jeeve's day off. :-)

Malta said...

A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague --Cicero

Marty Jude said...

carthusian said...
"Caution here. Other Italian sources are claiming these documents were planted by higher ups in the Curia. These sources are also saying the Pope believes this is possible."

We should have known darker forces were at work. What a mess. O Lord, protect Thy Vicar on earth

Malta said...

Dante needs to have a word with : this one and our Pope's Paolo. Not to be confused with the less culpable and less traitoress Paolo.

Malta said...

Marty Jude,

Good point. I guarantee they have interrogated this man; heavily. We should probably wait to see how things play-out before judging him, either way.

But I'm also not into dark conspiracies unless I can at least partially verify them.

For instance, I used to believe in Medjugorje, and now feel that I was duped; fool me once shame on you...

sam said...

Sit scriptor accipies insidiatur et videre adventu, ut pincerna sit innocens

New Catholic said...

Maybe. Or maybe the simple explanation is the true one, who knows?

Marty Jude said...

Malta said...
"Marty Jude,

Good point. I guarantee they have interrogated this man; heavily. We should probably wait to see how things play-out before judging him, either way.

But I'm also not into dark conspiracies unless I can at least partially verify them.

For instance, I used to believe in Medjugorje, and now feel that I was duped; fool me once shame on you...".

I couldn't agree more Malta.

Knight of Malta said...

Marty, New Catholic, et al,

I'm now going to have a Mojito.

I'm mentioning this because I think we should all cheer to a peaceful resolution to the Rome-Econd rift!

Marty Jude said...

Knight of Malta said...
"Marty, New Catholic, et al,

I'm now going to have a Mojito.

I'm mentioning this because I think we should all cheer to a peaceful resolution to the Rome-Econd rift!"

Well that sounds refreshing all round! I've a glass of Pinot Grigio. Slainte!!!

Matt said...

Who ratted out the lizard? Was he caught lifting more papers?

Francis said, ""The Holy Father should've suspected him right away."

Maybe the Holy Father did suspect him but played it off until he could trap the creep.

J. G. Ratkaj said, "establish an intra-church intelligence service like la Sapinière under Pius X to trace the plotters against His Holiness and the church."

Do you really think the Masons or the liberalistas are going to rat out themselves?

Francis said, "I was... trying to relay the fact that very powerful men, like the Holy Father, should suspect EVERYONE in His inner circle about leaks or for anything else."

Even Ganswein? Well, like you said, "suspect EVERYONE."

Andrew said, "What an honour and this guy throws it all away for nothing."

Well, it sure wasn't for "nothing." This was a means to an end, and whatever that end was for this loser, it had to have been something self-gratifying to go through all of that. Besides, who knows what he did to JPII back in the day.

Matt

Matt. 10:36 said...

"Inimici hominis domestici ejus."

Matt said...

That Tornelli guy wrote this, "But is he really a poison pen letter writer or just a scapegoat to save the skin of someone higher up? This is the question many in the Vatican are asking since rumours have been spreading regarding the inquiries into the leaked documents. The butler is in fact considered by many in the Holy See as a simple, good person who is devoted to the Pope."

As mentioned above by most, we do need to give this guy the benefit of the doubt.

Matt

HSE said...

This reminds me of the movie "A Man For All Seasons." Thomas More's butler couldn't be trusted either . . . although throughout the movie Thomas always gave him the benefit of the doubt.

P.K.T.P. said...

We've all heard how the Pope gave the Aachen Trappists the right to use the T.L.M. but that an "official" secreted the permission in a drawer for months.

If the Pope is to sign something on, say, the S.S.P.X, say, tomorrow, he should put it under his arm, mount his mobile platform, and take it to the Press Office personally; otherwise, it might end up at the bottom of some cardinal's bowl of fettucine.

P.K.T.P.

New Catholic said...

He is being given the benefit of the doubt. He is not yet convicted, far from it, but the benefit of the doubt works and looks like this under the rule of law.

Marty Jude said...

P.K.T.P. said...
We've all heard how the Pope gave the Aachen Trappists the right to use the T.L.M. but that an "official" secreted the permission in a drawer for months.

If the Pope is to sign something on, say, the S.S.P.X, say, tomorrow, he should put it under his arm, mount his mobile platform, and take it to the Press Office personally; otherwise, it might end up at the bottom of some cardinal's bowl of fettucine.

.........

How true is that! Love the mobile platform bit! Still, not as grand as being carried in The Chair!!!

Knight of Malta said...

Well, at least Paolo didn't slip some pills into the Holy Father's drink!

Our poor Holy Father needs a food-tester-jester!

Peterman said...

"Gabriele is a holdover of the Wojtyla Pontificate"

Nothing further left to say, he should have been rooted out years ago.osa

Marty Jude said...

Knight of Malta said...
Well, at least Paolo didn't slip some pills into the Holy Father's drink!

Our poor Holy Father needs a food-tester-jester!

.........

Sure does. Who knows what "they'll" get up to! Seems like it wouldn't be the first time...!!!

Matt said...

P.K.T.P. said, "He should put it under his arm, mount his mobile platform, and take it to the Press Office personally; otherwise, it might end up at the bottom of some cardinal's bowl of fettucine."

Marty Jude said, "Still, not as grand as being carried in The Chair!!!"

What's wrong with a little Sedia GolfCartia?

Matt

Barbara said...

This makes me sick at heart...I feel so bad for the Holy Father...and I am not impressed by the quips of certain commenters on this thread in their joking, jesting manner suggesting that the Pope's life is in danger. This is not a laughing matter - How can you make light of such a thing? You fall right into the hands of the anti-Catholic hate-mongers... who use this stuff to justify their attacks on the Church.

This is "too much reality" for me...

Treasa said...

Yes, we must pray constantly for our beloved Holy Father. How terrible he must feel to be betrayed like this. Surely if Gabriele in being interrogated and it turns out that the documents were planted, how deep can the rot go? Hollywood is now hopping in delight with another "expose the Vatican" thriller dancing in their heads. It seems every man has his price.

Ora et Labora said...

Is not surprising the Holy Father is always asking people to pray for him.

For years I have read articles that claimed the Holy Father feels isolated in Rome. It makes sense, since there is no one he can trust.

With too many wolves lurking around who can feel safe in that enviroment.

And J. G. Ratkaj I agree with you. I think the return of la Sapinière is a good idea.

Hopefully the Holy Father reads Rorate and considers your idea.

Prof. Basto said...

Today's Holy See Press Office Bulletin confirms the arrest of the Papal butler in Vatican territory:

DICHIARAZIONE DEL DIRETTORE DELLA SALA STAMPA, P. FEDERICO LOMBARDI, S.I., SULLE INDAGINI CIRCA LA DIVULGAZIONE DI DOCUMENTI RISERVATI

Confermo che la persona arrestata mercoledì sera per possesso illecito di documenti riservati, rinvenuti nella sua abitazione in territorio vaticano, è il Sig. Paolo Gabriele, che rimane tuttora in stato di detenzione.
Si è conclusa la prima fase di "istruttoria sommaria" sotto la direzione del Promotore di Giustizia, prof. Nicola Picardi, e si è avviata la fase di "istruttoria formale" condotta dal Giudice istruttore, prof. Piero Antonio Bonnet.
L’imputato ha nominato due avvocati di sua fiducia, abilitati ad agire presso il Tribunale vaticano, e ha avuto la possibilità di incontrarli. Essi potranno assisterlo nelle successive fasi del procedimento. Egli gode di tutte le garanzie giuridiche previste dai codici penale e di procedura penale in vigore nello Stato della Città del Vaticano.
La fase istruttoria proseguirà fino a che non sia acquisito un quadro adeguato della situazione oggetto di indagine, dopodiché il Giudice istruttore procederà al proscioglimento o al rinvio a giudizio.

Michael said...

I recommend Father Michael McMahon, SSPX for this position. He knows how to solve problems.

carthusian said...

Confessor Defends Pope's Butler:

http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/homepage/thevatican/detail/articolo/gabriele-vaticano-15397/

Again, this doesn't make sense.

Marty Jude said...

Matt said, "...What's wrong with a little Sedia GolfCartia?"

Love it! He could do with a sedia. Would be good for the environment and more comfy for His Holiness. He could have it well customised with the Papal colours/flag. Maybe even that tiara he was presented with sat on the bonnet!!! hehe

carthusian said...

The butler may need a food taster.
I think this man needs alot of prayers.

Malta said...

...I am not impressed by the quips of certain commenters on this thread in their joking, jesting manner suggesting that the Pope's life is in danger.

Good point. As an ex-EMT and Prosecutor I sometimes fall into the habit of using gallows humor to address a very serious thing.

If the allegations are true, this Paolo should be strung-up. In the interim, we must give him due process of the law. But I consider the betrayal of our Pope as one of the worst kinds; and, if proven true, not only should this man face prison, but excommunication as well.

Malta said...

...And, to be honest, I honestly do think the Holy Father's life is in danger.

It's high-time the Vatican goes 21st century with their counterintelligence and counterterrorist organs.

Joe Potillor said...

I weep for our Holy Father, he really is alone, may God and the Virgin Mary keep and protect him.