Judges in the trial of papal butler Paolo Gabriele are due to reach their verdict today.
If found guilty he faces a possible four-year prison sentence.
Gabriele who is charged with aggravated theft has already admitted stealing secret documents from Pope Benedict’s private office.
It is not known what motive the father of three had for leaking the information to the press however it is believed the Pope may use his power to pardon him.
Senior Communications Advisor at the Vatican, Gregory Burke explained:
“The importance of this trial has been that the Vatican is showing that it’s taking a serious breach of trust, a serious crime if you will, it’s taking it very seriously. Paolo Gabriele may well be pardoned but it will certainly send a message in the Vatican about how people behave.”
Although the leak threw an unflattering spotlight onto the workings of the Vatican, some in the Catholic Church are playing down its impact.
“The Vatican is an organisation and part of normal life and this is a man who didn’t carry out his duties properly, but that’s it,” said Bishop Alberto Sanguinetti. “Yes it took them a long time to find out but that was because there was trust and there were no controls and checks. Still, it doesn’t change anything.”
But after a series of scandals involving sexual abuse of minors by clerics and mismanagement at its bank, the Vatican is keen to turn the page on this latest rumpus . Whatever the outcome the pope’s office intends to show it is taking a firm hand with yet another serious breach of trust.