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Cardinal predicts that Pope will pardon Vatileaks butler

Cardinal Paolis cites historical precedents for Papal forgiveness of wrongdoers.

  • Edward Pentin
  • Vatican City
  • October 2, 2012
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Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, a canon lawyer and member of the Vatican’s Supreme Court, is convinced that Pope Benedict XVI will pardon his former valet, Paolo Gabriele.

Gabriele, who is currently being tried in a Vatican court for the theft of confidential documents from the papal apartments, is to take the witness stand tomorrow.

In an interview with La Repubblica Sept. 30, the Curial cardinal, asked if Gabriele will be jailed or pardoned, stressed that a pardon “is a personal prerogative of the Holy Father” and one that only he, in good conscience, can decide.

He added: “According to my studies of criminal procedure applied to the Church, I feel I can say that, with a full confession of honest remorse and the absolute certainty that the crime cannot be committed again, popes have always issued, in favor of the condemned, measures dictated by the mercy that is the essence of the Church, which is always close to her children, even those found guilty.”

Cardinal De Paolis recalled that Blessed Pope John Paul II forgave Ali Agca in 1981 on regaining consciousness after Agca tried to assassinate him on St. Peter's Square. He stressed “this is not the first time that the Church has had to deal with close, sensitive matters, serious problems, personal tragedies." But he added that with prayer and the intercession of Divine Providence, “everything can be resolved.”

Gabriele has insisted he acted for the good of the Catholic Church, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and that he had a mission to expose “evil and corruption”. This has led many to wonder if he acted alone or on behalf of some senior Holy See figure.

But Cardinal De Paolis said in the interview that he believes Gabriele was acting alone, with Claudio Sciarpelletti, a computer technician, taking a “secondary role.”  He said the judges “will determine this on the basis of confessions, testimonies and facts,” adding that he personally believes “there will be no surprises. Everything will be resolved.”

The Italian prelate criticised the “many assumptions” being made by those “who really don’t know what happened” and are unable “to distinguish the reality of facts from fantasy.” He added that it will be a “fair and timely trial, respectful of the rights of both the defense and the prosecution” and consistent with the “spirit of justice administered in the Vatican, whose main aim throughout the trial is to arrive, yes, at the truth, but also and above all, at the redemption of the presumed offender.”

Full Story: Cardinal: Pope Likely to Pardon Valet

Source: National Catholic Register
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