Pope pardons butler, expels him

2012-12-22 14:56
Pope Benedict XVI's butler Paolo Gabriele, right, carries the pontiff's bags as they arrive at Ciampino military airport in Rome. (File, AP)

Pope Benedict XVI's butler Paolo Gabriele, right, carries the pontiff's bags as they arrive at Ciampino military airport in Rome. (File, AP)

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Vatican City - Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday pardoned his former butler Paolo Gabriele, who was sentenced to 18 months in jail for leaking secret papal memos, but banished him from the Vatican.

"This morning the Holy Father Benedict XVI visited Paolo Gabriele in prison in order to confirm his forgiveness and to inform him personally of his acceptance of Mr Gabriele's request for pardon," the Vatican said in a statement.

Gabriele's pardon was a "paternal gesture" for a man "with whom the pope shared a relationship of daily familiarity for many years".

However, the ex-butler "cannot resume his previous occupation or continue to live in Vatican City," it said.

Gabriele was found guilty in October of leaking sensitive memos to the press as part of a whistle-blowing campaign against what he said was "evil and corruption" in the Vatican.

 

Read more on:    paolo gabriele  |  pope benedict vxi  |  pope francis  |  vatican city  |  italy
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