Vatileaks: ’20 people involved in stealing douments’, says Pope’s butler

Vatileaks: ’20 people involved in stealing douments’, says Pope’s butler


Paolo Gabriele

Paolo Gabriele, who has been charged with aggravated theft and is likely to face a Vatican trial next month, told an Italian television programme that there were “at least 20 people” involved in the scandal.

The assertion contradicts the Vatican’s repeated insistence that the plot was small-scale and confined only to Mr Gabriele and a second person who has been charged with complicity, a Vatican computer expert named Claudio Sciarpelletti.”The Pope wants to clean up (the Vatican) but is encountering difficulties,” Mr Gabriele, 46, told La7 television.He said he had collaborated with more than 20 other people “who, like me, want to contribute to transparency.”

There was a power struggle going on in the Vatican between liberals and conservatives who wanted to block reform, he said. By leaking the documents to the Italian media, the whistleblowers had created “a breach” in the wall of secrecy that traditionally surrounded the Holy See, he said.Mr Gabriele was arrested in May after police found a stash of private papal papers and other documents in his apartment within the walls of the Vatican.

Among the stolen documents were letters from the then deputy governor of the city state, Carlo Maria Vigano, alleging corruption and nepotism in the Vatican administration.After making the claims and pleading with the Pope to take action, Vigano was moved against his will to Washington, where he was made the Holy See’s nuncio or ambassador.Other documents cast in a negative light Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican secretary of state and de facto prime minister, suggesting that he was blocking attempts to improve transparency in the Vatican bank, formally known as the Istituto per le Opere di Religione.

Segments of the interview with Mr Gabriele were broadcast in February, but at the time his voice was digitally distorted, his face hidden by shadows and his identity kept a secret.At the time he was presented as an anonymous whistleblower and claimed that the Vatican was ruled by a climate of fear and an “omerta” code of silence.He described the Vatican as a place where “you can commit a murder and then disappear into the void” – a reference to a murky scandal within the Swiss Guard in 1998, when a young soldier shot dead the corps’ commander and wife before apparently committing suicide.

There has been long-standing speculation that the real murderer was never caught and allegations of a cover-up at the highest levels of the Catholic hierarchy.The new segments were broadcast as the Vatican prepares to send the valet to trial, the culmination of one of the biggest scandals to shake the Holy See for years.If found guilty, he faces up to six years in jail. – Telegraph