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Pope pardons ex-butler who stole, leaked documents

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 22, 2012 at 10:57 a.m.

in-this-file-photo-taken-wednesday-may-2-2012-pope-benedict-xvi-right-arrives-in-st-peters-square-at-the-vatican-for-a-general-audience-as-his-then-butler-paolo-gabriele-bottom-and-his-personal-secretary-georg-gaenswein-sit-in-the-car-with-him-the-vatican-has-summoned-journalists-for-a-briefing-on-saturday-dec-22-2012-for-what-italian-media-report-is-expected-to-be-the-announcement-of-a-pardon-for-the-former-butler-gabiele-who-was-convicted-in-october-2012-of-aggravated-theft-after-steeling-the-pontiffs-personal-papers-and-leaking-them-to-the-media-in-a-bid-to-expose-the-evil-and-corruption-in-the-catholic-church

In this file photo taken Wednesday, May 2, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI, right, arrives in St. Peter's square at the Vatican for a general audience as his then-butler Paolo Gabriele, bottom, and his personal secretary Georg Gaenswein sit in the car with him. The Vatican has summoned journalists for a briefing on Saturday Dec. 22, 2012, for what Italian media report is expected to be the announcement of a pardon for the former butler, Gabiele, who was convicted in October 2012 of aggravated theft after steeling the pontiff's personal papers and leaking them to the media in a bid to expose the "evil and corruption" in the Catholic Church.

— Pope Benedict XVI granted his former butler a Christmas pardon Saturday, forgiving him in person during a jailhouse meeting for stealing and leaking his private papers in one of the gravest Vatican security breaches in recent times.

After the 15-minute meeting, Paolo Gabriele was freed and returned to his Vatican City apartment where he lives with his wife and three children. The Vatican said he couldn't continue living or working in the Vatican, but said it would find him housing and a job elsewhere soon.

"This is a paternal gesture toward someone with whom the pope for many years shared daily life," according to a statement from the Vatican secretariat of state.

The pardon closes a painful and embarrassing chapter for the Vatican, capping a sensational, Hollywood-like scandal that exposed power struggles, intrigue and allegations of corruption and homosexual liaisons in the highest levels of the Catholic Church.

Gabriele, 46, was arrested May 23 after Vatican police found what they called an "enormous" stash of papal documents in his Vatican City apartment. He was convicted of aggravated theft by a Vatican tribunal on Oct. 6 and has been serving his 18-month sentence in the Vatican police barracks.

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rainbowharold55 says... December 22, 2012 at 11:15 a.m.

And yet, no real remorse for all the child molestation and more animus towards LGBT people.

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