Monday, August 13, 2012

Why The Butler Did It (Allegedly)

According to the Irish Independent, the Pope's butler, Paolo Gabriele, has now been formally charged for his role in the leaks scandal. It's "aggravated theft" for him and a heretofore unnamed accomplice working for the Vatican IT service. None of that comes off as a big deal, I think. We were expecting charges against the former and figured that someone else would be right behind him. Now for the interesting parts:

According to the document, a €100,000 cheque belonging to the Pope was recovered from Mr Gabriele's apartment during the investigation, as well as a gold nugget and a 1581 Italian translation of Virgil's classic poem Aeneid by Annibale Caro, both of which were gifts to the Pontiff.

This is weird for me. First, that the Pope just happens to have this kind of stuff just lying around for someone else to pick up. I mean, who keeps 400+ year old manuscripts just out in the open?

During his questioning, Mr Gabriele allegedly insisted he "meant to give back" the items, that he had also written to the Pope expressing his "sorrow" and adding that he had not received "any money or other benefits" insisting that he had acted to "keep the Holy Father informed of certain facts and events."

Ah, he "allegedly" did so. Assuming that  he did, this is almost as weird as the first part. Was the copy of The Aeneid at the library not good enough?

The document also revealed how Gabriele had told prosecutors that he had acted because he had seen "evil and corruption everywhere in the Church" and he wanted to stop it spreading adding: "I reached the point of no return. I was sure that a shock, perhaps by using the media, could be a healthy thing to bring the Church back on the right track."

This is all repeating the theme that we've heard  throughout this whole deal. There is an  internal war going on. People are trying to "help" the Pope by bringing these things up to the public. There is very little indication of how these things are actually all that beneficial. Either the folks behind it don't know anything all that bad or their access to information isn't really that great.

As of right now, we're left wondering what is happening. All we know is that things have got to  be bad for there to be so much Curial laundry getting aired.

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