Newsmaker: Paolo Gabriele, the papal butler who fell from grace


By Naomi O’Leary

VATICAN CITY | Thu Sep 27, 2012

(Reuters) – By day, Paolo Gabriele was a member of the Vatican’s innermost circle, the “papal family”, possessing a key held by fewer than 10 people to an elevator leading from a small Vatican courtyard directly into Pope Benedict’s apartments.

By night, he was a different man, obsessed with helping root out what he saw as corruption in the Roman Catholic Church.

The pious butler who helped Pope Benedict dress and served him his meals now finds himself on trial for aggravated theft, accused of stealing documents in what could prove to be the most sensational Vatican trial in decades.

Gabriele, 46, a reserved family man and devout Catholic, told investigators he acted for the good of the Church.

While tending to the man Catholics believe is Christ’s vicar on earth, the clean-cut, black-haired butler said he saw “evil and corruption everywhere in the Church”, and began leaking the papers that would cause one of the biggest crisis of Pope Benedict’s papacy.

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