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Pope's former butler sentenced to 18 months. Will the Pope grant his pardon?

2012-10-06

On Saturday afternoon, a judge announced that his three year sentence would be reduced to18 months, because he has no prior criminal record and because, according to the three judge panel, he did not act in bad faith. He will also be responsible for the financial costs of the judicial case.

"The court declares, Paolo Gabriele, guilty under article 404, first paragraph, number one of the Penal Code, who abusing the confidence given to him and derived from his professional responsibilities, stole items that because of this relationship, were left unattended due to the confidence entrusted in him.”

The butler seemed calmed as his sentence was read, and he left the courtroom smiling.

His attorney described the 18 month sentence as balanced. Now she has a three day window to appeal the sentence.

On the last day of his trial, the butler took the witness stand, where he was asked if he felt guilty or innocent. Gabriele said he acted out of a unique visceral love for the Church and the Pope. He then added he did not feel like a thief.

The Pope does have the power to pardon his former butler. If that happens the sentence would automatically be canceled.  For now, the Vatican's spokesperson believes that will be the case.

FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI
Vatican spokesman
"The Pope is studying the case and he will decide how to proceed. It is likely though that he will grant a pardon. I believe I can say that without fear of being contradicted.”

This verdict begins to close the Vatileaks chapter. It has been a  process where many have directly felt betrayed. The process itself has physically affected 85 year old Pope, who was betrayed inside his own home.


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