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Pope Benedict's butler appears in court accused of theft

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Pope Benedict's butler appears in court accused of theft


Pope Benedict XVI’s former butler has appeared in court on the first day of his trial, accused of stealing and leaking sensitive Vatican files.

Paolo Gabriele, who served the pope meals and helped to dress him, was arrested in May after confidential documents were found in his apartment.

The information, obtained by a journalist and used as the source of a book published in May, alleges a power struggle at the highest levels of the Catholic Church.

Gabriele earlier confessed, telling investigators that he saw evil and corruption throughout the Church and wanted to help root it out.

Many Italians are angry that the pope seems unable to trust his inner circle.

“He has done harm by leaking this information, which was private to the church, because there will always be somebody who takes advantage of things”, this man says.

Another says it could herald a new beginning.
“In a way the Church could come out strengthened by this in the sense it could gain a new openness, a clear transparency in the hierarchy”.

Gabriele did not speak at the first court session on Saturday, but is expected to testify when the trial resumes on Tuesday.

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