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Pope's touching act of forgiveness to 'Vatileaks' butler

After the Pope's gesture, there is speculation that the expected legal pardon has not been granted because Gabriele has yet to apologize to senior officials.

Pope's touching act of forgiveness to 'Vatileaks' butler
Andrea Tornelli
Vatican City

November 9, 2012

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In today’s issue of Italian newspaper Libero, journalist and writer, Antonio Socci, revealed that Benedict XVI allegedly pardoned his former butler Paolo Gabriele who confessed to and was convicted for stealing confidential documents from the papal apartment, which were then published in a book by Italian author and journalist, Gianluigi Nuzzi. After mentioning the letter of apology the Pope’s former butler sent to Benedict XVI via the three cardinals who were investigating the Vatileaks scandal, Socci wrote: “When the Secretary of the Commission of Cardinals, Fr. Martiniani delivered the letter, signed by Gabriele (who stated he was aware he had offended and betrayed Benedict XVI’s trust and that is why he was asking for his forgiveness), to the Pope, Benedict XVI responded by sending him a book of psalms which he had quoted in the letter. The book, which was signed by the Pope and included an apostolic blessing, was personally addressed to Gabriele and bore the stamp of the Pope’s personal secretariat. It was delivered directly from Castel Gandolfo where the Pope had been staying at the time, to Gabriele in person (the Pope also expressed concern for the family situation).” “All this - Socci went on to say in his article - was a preamble to the pardon which was expected after the verdict.” According to Socci, Benedict XVI’s gesture of sending a signed book to Gabriele can be interpreted as a concrete sign of the Pope’s forgiveness. Meanwhile, Benedict XVI’s failure to grant a papal pardon, which most people expected after a definitive sentence was handed down, is - according to the journalist - more a result of the Secretariat of State not wanting it to be granted than of the Pope not wanting to.  This is because Gabriele did not apologise to the other people harmed by the publication of the leaked documents, especially Ratzinger’s right hand man, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. In relation to this, Socci emphasised the tough tone used in the Secretariat of State’s statement last 25 October, on the day when Paolo Gabriele was accompanied back to the cells of the Vatican Gendarmerie after he was definitively sentenced to a year and a half in prison. Let us hope that “the Holy Father’s goodness and wisdom” will prevail, the journalist wrote. “It would be an example to the world. As Fr. Pius often used to say: “Our misery is the throne of God’s mercy,” Socci concluded. Full Story: The Pope’s gesture of forgiveness towards Paolo Gabriele Source: Vatican Insider/La Stampa
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