Vatileaks: Is papal butler Paolo Gabriele a whistleblower or a traitor?
Paolo Gabriele, a reserved family man and devout Catholic, worked in Pope Benedict’s private apartments in the Vatican’s Apostolic palace, serving the pontiff meals and helping him dress.
Yet while tending to the man Catholics believe is Christ’s vicar on earth, the clean-cut, black-haired butler became disillusioned with his Church, according to an indictment issued on Monday in which the Vatican ordered him to stand trial.
Arrested in an investigation over the leak of documents alleging corruption in the Vatican’s business dealings, Gabriele admitted that for some time he had been meeting with a journalist and slipping him sensitive papers, including letters to the pope.
He told the inquiry he never received payment for the documents, but felt he was acting for the good of the Church and as an agent of the Holy Spirit.
“I saw evil and corruption everywhere in the Church,” Gabriele said in his testimony, explaining how he felt the pope was not sufficiently informed of such matters. “I was sure that a shock, perhaps by using the media, could be a healthy thing to bring the Church back on the right track.”