Statement Regarding Sentencing of Former Papal Butler

"The Serenity of the Working Community which Daily Serves the Successor of Peter was Disturbed"

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 26, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Here is the translation of the statement released yesterday by the Office of the Secretariat of State regarding the sentencing of Paolo Gabriele, the Former papal butler who was found guilty of aggravated theft. 

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"The sentence in the trial of Paolo Gabriele, which has now become final, puts a full stop to the end of a sad affair which has had very painful consequences.

"A personal offense was done to the Holy Father; the right to privacy of the many people who, by virtue of their office, addressed themselves to him was violated; the Holy See and a number of her institutions suffered prejudice; communications between the bishops of the world and the Holy See were hindered, and scandal was caused among the community of the faithful. Finally, for a period of many months the serenity of the working community which daily serves the Successor of Peter was disturbed.

"The accused admitted his guilt at the end of a judicial process which took place transparently and justly, and with full respect for the rights of the defence. The trial was able to ascertain the facts, showing that Mr. Gabriele had carried our his criminal plans not at the instigation or incitement of third parties, but on the basis of his own personal convictions, which can in no way be shared. Various conjectures about the existence of plots or the involvement of other people have, in the light of the sentence, been shown to be false.

"Now that the sentence is final, Mr Gabriele will have to serve the prison term imposed upon him. He also faces a procedure for dismissal, as laid down in the Regulations of the Roman Curia.

"As regards the term of imprisonment, the possibility of pardon still remains which, as has been reiterated on a number of occasions, is a sovereign act on the part of the Holy Father. It does, however, reasonably presuppose repentance on the part of the accused, and a sincere request for pardon to the Supreme Pontiff and those who have been unjustly offended.

"In relation to the harm caused, the term inflicted appears both lenient and just, a fact due to the the specific nature of the legislative system from which it arises".