An in-house scandal at the Vatican expanded dramatically yesterday with the arrest of the pope's butler, Paolo Gabriele, who was found with confidential documents on him and has been accused of leaking the private letters of Benedict XVI to the press, reports the New York Times. The Vatican confirmed today that Gabriele has been arrested in the enfolding "Vatileaks" scandal, notes AP. The arrest comes just after the ouster of the president of the Vatican Bank over standards at the bank.
The turmoil appears to be related to the publishing of Your Holiness: The Secret Papers of Benedict XVI a few days ago, in which an Italian journalist uses papers by "Maria," a Vatican insider, to describe a papacy that is besieged by political games, corruption, and cronyism—allegations that came out earlier this year. Some observers believe too many documents have been leaked to be the work of just one man, and the butler is just the Vatican's scapegoat. “Of course there are problems, big problems,” said one Vatican expert. “What is happening now shows that there’s a crisis.” The BBC has more on the duties of the pope's butler, or valet, here. (Read more Vatican stories.)