Pope's Butler: I Betrayed Him

But Paolo Gabriele declares himself innocent of theft charges

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 2, 2012 2:17 PM CDT

(Newser) – Paolo Gabriele pleaded guilty today—sort of. The pope's former butler said that he was innocent of the aggravated theft charges against him, but added, "I feel guilty of having betrayed the trust of the Holy Father, whom I love as a son would." He said his goal had been to expose "evil and corruption" in the church, the AP reports. Gabriele stood by his confession that he had leaked documents to Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, and said he had no accomplices.

He said that while he'd photocopied documents for Nuzzi, he'd done it in broad daylight in front of others. The court also heard testimony from other witnesses, including the pope's private secretary, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein. Gabriele stood up in deference to Gaenswein when he arrived and left, but the secretary refused to acknowledge him.

Paolo Gabriele sits in the wood-trimmed courtroom of the Vatican tribunal, at the Vatican, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012.
Paolo Gabriele sits in the wood-trimmed courtroom of the Vatican tribunal, at the Vatican, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano)
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