Reuters has some tantalizing tidbits from the start of the criminal trial of the pope’s former butler. The whole affair, concerning the leaking of the pope’s secret papers revealing deep-seeded corruption at the Vatican Bank and other internal scandal, is confirming some of the conspiracy theories pertaining to the Catholic Church:
Pope Benedict’s former butler stole highly sensitive papers the pontiff had marked “to be destroyed” and compromised Vatican security through his actions, the Holy See’s police told his trial on Wednesday.
On the third day of Paolo Gabriele’s trial, testimony depicted a man fascinated by the occult, Masonic lodges, secret services and past Italian and Vatican scandals.
“You can understand our unease when we saw these documents. This was a total violation of the privacy of the papal family,” said police agent Stefano De Santis, one of the four agents who said they found the papers in Gabriele’s home, using a Vatican term for the pope’s closest aides.
Gabriele’s leak to an Italian journalist of sensitive documents, some of them alleging corruption in the Vatican, caused one of the biggest crises of Pope Benedict’s papacy. It threw an unflattering spotlight on the inner workings of a city-state eager to shake off a series of scandals involving sexual abuse of minors by clerics around the world and mismanagement at its bank.