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.