The Vatican Document Leaks – The Butler Did it!?

From the intrepid Andrea Tornielli of La Stampa:

Vatican announces it has caught poison pen letter writer

The culprit is allegedly the Pope’s butler, a layman. But doubts are growing in the Holy See
vatican city

The Vatican Gendarmerie’s inquiry into the publication of secret documents “has allowed us to identify one person in possession of confidential documents.” Fr. Federico Lombardi stated this, explaining that this person “is now at the Vatican magistrate’s disposal for further questioning.”

The Vatican Gendarmerie, led by general Domenico Giani has allegedly identified the poison pen letter writer, who Italian newspaper Il Foglio has revealed is the Pope’s butler, Paolo Gabriele: a layman working in Benedict XVI’s apartment, who had previously worked in the Pope’s anteroomfor for a number of years. He is currently undergoing a legal process.

The Vatican Gendarmerie found large wad of confidential documents in an apartment in Via di Porta Angelica, in Rome, where the Pope’s butler Paolo Gabriele lives with his wife and three children. This just over 40 year old man from Rome has been working in the Pope’s apartment since 2006, entering the Pope’s Family after a period serving Mgr. James Harvey, Prefect of the Papal Household.

But is he really a poison pen letter writer or just a scapegoat to save the skin of someone higher up? This is the question many in the Vatican are asking since rumours have been spreading regarding the inquiries into the leaked documents. The butler is in fact considered by many in the Holy See as a simple, good person who is devoted to the Pope.


Well… the upside of this is that the Fishwrap – always focused with that strong sensus fidelium on the really important stuff – will have another thing to have a spittle-flecked nutty over!

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  1. Phillip says:

    Sounds like a cross between a Dan Brown novel and a traditional detective story. Intrigue at the Papal household, and of course it was the butler all along…

    Actually, that could be a pretty interesting way to spend a long flight. I’d read it.

  2. frjim4321 says:


  3. anna 6 says:

    Very strange indeed…
    The truth is that most of the information he revealed to the journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi in his book, “Your Holiness”, was information that was already known and fairly benign when examined carefully, despite all of the claims of exposed corruption.

    Which begs the question…why? He professes his devotion and love for Pope Benedict, so why cause this distraction and embarrassment?

    Perhaps he got bored ironing all those lace surplices!

  4. Kathleen10 says:

    Very unnerving to think that someone with such access to the Holy Father would not hold him dear to his heart, and give him all allegiance and protection. Frightening.
    What good is a Swiss Army outside, if someone with dubious intent is on the inside?

  5. bbmoe says:

    In the chapel, with the aspergillum.

  6. frjim4321 says:

    Have been reading more about this and instead of being a humorous curioisty this has become a matter of great concern. Who has responsibility for vetting the pope’s butler? I am amazed that the butler is not taken from the swiss guard.

    If the butler could do something like this he could also harm the pope. This story is not as innocuous as it seems.

  7. Elizabeth D says:

    FrJim, I read elsewhere the butler is a holdover from John Paul II’s papacy. He has been there a good while.

    Fr George David Byers has a mysterious post saying the butler is a distraction and he seems to think he has an idea who it is.

  8. irishgirl says:

    Hoo boy….’the butler did it’….?
    I heard something about this overnight on the BBC World News Service (via NPR…ducks). When the ‘presenter’ was going to interview a writer from the Fishwrap (National catholic ‘Distorter’), I got up and changed the radio channel. I wasn’t going to be aggravated so early in the morning in my new apartment….
    Why can’t people who are in positions of confidence keep their ‘secrets’ to themselves? Why do they always have them ‘leaked’? Is it the lure of money? Probably…..

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