Gabriele's Confessor Says He Stands By "Family of Friends"

Family Denounces Negative Portrayal of Fr. Morocutti in the Media

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 8, 2012 (Zenit.org).- The family of Paolo Gabriele, the former papal butler who was convicted for the theft of private documents belonging to the Holy Father, has published a communique denouncing the media's negative portrayal of Gabriele's confessor and friend. Fr. Paolo Morocutti. The note, published by Gabriele's lawyer, states that Fr. Morocutti "has fulfilled in every moment his role [as a] friend, regardless of Gabriele's guilt.

"The Gabriele family laments the improper way in which the media has spread Fr. Paolo Morocutti’s name. Father Paolo has always been a friend of the family, who only carried out the role of being close to Mrs. Gabriele and especially the children, in the most difficult and painful moments of this affair. For this, we renew our profound gratitude to Father Paolo," the statement read.

Gabriele’s lawyer Cristiana Arru clarified Father Morocutti’s role as a long- friend of the Gabriele family. Commenting on the events, Fr. Paolo stated that it was his "duty to stand beside this family of friends, regardless of Paolo's guilt."

"M task was to defend his wife and above all the children from the constant media pressures. This is what I have done, fully conscious of my priestly responsibility. My having introduced Paolo to another priest, because he asked me to, seems to me the most normal and natural thing in the world,” he said.