Rorate Caeli

For the record: Gabriele charged

The documents were published yesterday (in Italian). Summary of current proceedings by Vatican Radio:

(Vatican Radio) – Paolo Gabriele has been formally charged with aggravated theft and will stand trial for his role in leaking private documents, pertaining to the Holy Father and other Curia officials, to Italian press. Emer McCarthy reports:   

A 35 page document outlining the Vatican magistrates’ charges against Pope Benedict XVI’s former butler was presented to journalists Monday. In the document examining judge, Piero Bonnet, also names a second suspect in what has familiarly become known as the Vatileaks scandal, Claudio Sciarpelleti, who will stand trial on minor charges of ‘aiding and abetting’ Gabriele after the fact. 

Gabriele was arrested in May 23, after confidential letters and documents were found in his apartment in Vatican City State. Originally held in detention in the Vatican jail, he has since been released under house arrest.

Sciarpeletti, a lay computer technician at the Secretary of State and acquaintance of Gabriele, was briefly detained May 25, after Vatican police found him in possession of an envelope from Gabriele. Held overnight for questioning, Sciarpeletti was released the following morning. However, his “contrasting versions of the facts” during an interrogation lead examining magistrates to proceed with minors charges. He has incurred a cautionary suspension from work but continues to receive his salary.

According to Bonnet’s report, Paolo Gabriele, after having originally denied all involvement in the scandal to Pope Benedict XVI’s personal secretary, Msgr. Georg Gaenswein, during later interrogations confessed to having provided the documents to Italian Journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, but without receiving any money. 

While recognising the illegal nature of his actions, he claimed they were motivated by the fact he believed the Pope ill-informed of the evil and corruption which he saw in the Church. Claiming to have been inspired by the Holy Spirit, Gabrielle stated his certain belief that a “media shock” might be “healthy” for the church to bring it “back onto the right track”. 

Bonnet’s report also reveals that other important objects were found during a police search on the former Papal assistant’s house. These include; a cheque made out to Pope Benedict XVI dated to March 26 2012, to the sum of 100 thousand euros; a gold nugget from Peru again addressed to Pope Benedict XVI and a 16th century Venetian edition of the Aeneid, also destined for Pope Benedict.

The report states that Gabriele underwent two independent psychiatric evaluations, at the request of attorneys for the defence and prosecution. The three sessions carried out between June 18 and the beginning of July resulted in diverging opinions on his mental faculty at the time of his actions. The conclusions of the Promoter of Justice are also based on these evaluations, according to whom Gabriele was aware of the gravity and illegality of what he did, and hence the decision to formally charge him and to go to trial. Bonnet emphasised in the report that Paolo Gabriele's case was only one part of the over-all inquiry into the leaking of documents from the Vatican, which magistrates will continue to pursue.

Presenting the complete and detailed finding’s to journalists, Holy See Press Office Director, Fr. Federico Lombardi, underlined the Vatican’s desire for transparency and Pope Benedict XVI’s respect for the Vatican’ magistrates role, competence and autonomy. A respect the Pope personally spoke of in July meeting with the investigating attorney’s and judges.

This – added Lombardi - also explains the fact that the outcome of Cardinal’s commission of inquiry into the leaks [appointed by Pope Benedict early March] has not yet been published, in order not to interfere with the magistrates work. He also confirmed that Pope Benedict has received the report and that as Pope, he can intervene at any stage of the judicial process should he feel it opportune. However, the fact he hasn’t done so up until now leads us to assume that trial will go ahead.

A date for the trial has not yet been set, concluded Fr. Lombardi, but it will not be before Sept. 20 when the Supreme Tribunal of the Holy See returns from recess. 


Andrew said...

The Butler claims he was trying to expose Church corruption so the Church can be reformed. Perhaps he is right. Maybe he knows something we don't. I mean with the financial mismanagement at the Vatican bank. Bribery scandals and the on-going sexual abuse scandals etc. etc. maybe he was doing the Church a big favour. I will reserve judgement as the Vatican has long been a vipers nest. Perhaps he was set up. Perhaps he was working for someone else. Perhaps he was doing this for the good of the Church. We just don't know.

I am not Spartacus said...

"The Holy Ghost prompted me to steal this gold nugget to expose the corruption in the Church."

Hugh said...

This is not a simple black/white issue - it runs deep into the current ecclesiastical malaise that has affected the church since the 1960s. It is futile to pretend The Vatican is lilly-white in all of this because it just is not. There is a deep seated corruption that gets worse with each year that passes.