Pope’s former butler claims mistreatment after arrest

Paolo Gabriele, the pope’s former butler, complained of mistreatment after his arrest on charges of stealing documents from the pontiff’s private apartment.

Gabriele claimed that his cell was so small he could not extend his arms, and the light was kept on permanently.

The judges have ordered an inquiry into his allegations.

The Vatican police said conditions inside the police security room respected international standards and Gabriele’s rights were never violated.

Authorities accused Gabriele of stealing highly sensitive papers the pontiff had marked “to be destroyed” and compromised Vatican security through his actions.

On Tuesday, Gabriele pleaded not guilty to theft, but admitted abusing the pope’s trust and photocopying documents.

He said he leaked the papers, which revealed alleged corruption at the Vatican, because he thought the pope was being manipulated.

The Vatican police on Wednesday, however, told the tribunal they found thousands of documents hidden inside the home of Gabriele.

Prosecutors have said Gabriele confessed to leaking copies of the documents to journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi because he wanted to expose the “evil and corruption” in the church to help put it back on the right path.

The final four witnesses in the trial were heard Wednesday and closing arguments are set for Saturday, when a verdict by the three-judge Vatican panel is expected.

During the hearing, Gabriele recounted his daily life in the shadow of the pope on the top floor of the Apostolic Palace, the BBC reported.

The report said the Vatican tribunal wants to wrap up the trial by the weekend, before the arrival in Rome next week of 200 Catholic bishops from around the world due to discuss the New Evangelisation at a three-week Synod.
This month also marks the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council.

The BBC said the butler’s trial has eclipsed all other Vatican news this week in the world’s media.


Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , , ,