Quantcast
Connect with us

Pope’s butler to take stand in ‘Vatileaks’ trial

Published

on

Pope Benedict XVI’s former butler Paolo Gabriele takes the stand on Tuesday at his historic trial for stealing secret memos in what he said was a bid to battle “evil and corruption” in the Vatican.

It will be the first time that Gabriele speaks out since his arrest in May this year and his 53-day detention in a Vatican security cell.

ADVERTISEMENT

Gabriele, who is now under house arrest, is accused of leaking hundreds of memos that reported fraud and intrigue among senior Vatican figures.

At the start of the trial on Saturday, Gabriele suffered a series of setbacks when judges turned down his lawyer’s requests to strike down his indictment and throw out the case because of rules on papal secrecy.

Judges also declined to include in the trial a top secret report on the “Vatileaks” scandal compiled by a committee of cardinals appointed by the pope who interviewed dozens of people in a parallel investigation into the leaks.

The pope’s secretary and closest confidant, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, and one of the four lay housekeepers who help the 85-year-old pope go about his daily life, Cristina Cernetti, are expected to testify later in the trial.

ADVERTISEMENT

A German like the pope, Gaenswein is a hugely influential figure at the Vatican as he is effectively the filter for the pope’s interactions with the outside world and his role has sparked jealousy behind the Vatican walls.

The first hearing also revealed that Vatican gendarmes had seized 82 boxes of material from Gabriele’s service apartments in the Vatican and at the pope’s summer residence and installed a camera on the landing of his Vatican flat.

ADVERTISEMENT

Gabriele gave only one interview in February to Gianluigi Nuzzi, the Italian investigative journalist to whom he is accused of having leaked the stolen documents.

His identity was hidden in the interview where Gabriele used the codename “Maria” — but it was revealed by the journalist after Gabriele’s arrest.

Nuzzi wrote a Twitter message on Saturday urging support for Gabriele saying: “Good luck, brave Paoletto, let’s not leave him alone!”

ADVERTISEMENT

The journalist has also said he is ready to appear before Italian authorities if there is a formal request from the Vatican that he be charged for receiving stolen goods — something which has not happened.

The key question is whether Gabriele acted on his own or whether the leaks point to wider unease. That would spell a more serious crisis for the Vatican which is already struggling with paedophilia scandals and rising secularism.

Gabriele himself in his February interview spoke vaguely of “around 20” like-minded people spread across the Vatican institutions and there have been unconfirmed reports in the Italian press of battles between rival cardinals.

ADVERTISEMENT

The butler expressed frustration with a culture of secrecy in the Vatican — from the mysterious disappearance of the daughter of a Vatican employee in 1983 to a quickly hushed-up double murder and suicide by a Swiss guard in 1998.

“There is a kind of omerta against the truth, not so much because of a power struggle but because of fear, because of caution,” Gabriele said in the interview, using the term for the code of silence of the Sicilian mafia.

“It annoys people when you stick your nose in their dirty laundry,” he said. The leaking of documents had been “a gesture of rage” against inaction, he added.

ADVERTISEMENT

Gabriele comes across in the interview as a deeply religious man who says he was inspired by the Holy Spirit to reveal intrigues behind the Vatican walls so as to help the pope clear out corruption from the heart of the Catholic Church.

“There is a lot of hypocrisy, this is the kingdom of hypocrisy,” he said.

Gabriele also said he was aware of the consequences of his actions but that the potential to change something in the Vatican was worth the risk.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Being a witness to truth means being ready to pay the price,” he said.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from billionaires and corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Facebook

John Oliver cites Donald Trump’s final offer for Greenland: ‘$200 and I’ll throw in Don Jr.’

Published

on

"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver's favorite highlight of the week was, of course, President Donald Trump's decision that he wanted to buy Greenland.

In his opener Sunday, the HBO host said that he wasn't all that surprised given Trump's track record.

"Of course, he f*cking did. Of course, he did. Greenland is icy, distant and autonomous is exactly Trump's type," Oliver said, showing a photo of Trump with the first lady.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Florida teacher removed after bizarre rant about students not standing for the pledge

Published

on

Students were faced with a white-board rant in a classroom attacking anyone not standing up for the Pledge of Allegiance.

The moment went viral locally on Thursday after students posted Daniel Goodman‘s “inappropriate” message to students at First Coast High School in Duval County, Florida, The Atlanta Black Star reported.

“THINK: We had about a half million Americans die in our Civil War, which was largely to get rid of slavery. There are no longer separate water fountains and bathrooms in Jacksonville for ‘white’ and ‘colored,’ as Mr. Goodman remembers from the 1960?s. We had an amendment to the U.S. Constitution allowing women the right to vote. We have had a Black president. The superintendent of Duval Schools is a Black woman. Mr. Fluent, our principal, replaced a Black man. Mr. Simmons, who now is a DC PS admninistrator.”

Continue Reading
 

CNN

Angry Minnesota farmer bashes ‘insulting’ Trump comments that ‘we’re great patriots’ during his trade war

Published

on

President Donald Trump has insulted at least one Minnesota farmer by his claim that farmers are "great patriots" who want him to continue his trade fight against China.

"This wound is self-inflicted, by our president," said Gary Wertish, who is the Minnesota Farm Bureau president. "We definitely agreed with it in the beginning. But it doesn’t appear that there’s a plan B. Some of the callous comments come, especially from the president, you know, that farmers are 'winning,' we’re 'great patriots,' that’s very insulting. That’s coming from someone who never has faced the challenges of a family farmer. I go into the bank and tell the lender I can’t make the payment because we lost our market? The banker is going to tell me you don’t have to make your payment because you’re a patriot."

Continue Reading
 
 

Thank you for whitelisting Raw Story!

As a special thank you, from now until August 31st, we're offering you a discounted rate of $5.99/month to subscribe and get ad-free access. We're honored to have you as a reader. Thank you. :) —Elias, Membership Coordinator
LEARN MORE
close-link
close-image