The Sistine Chapel at the Vatican in Rome, Vatican City on January 11th, 2009.
Credit: 2430/Gamma-Rapho

The Vatican today confirmed that a Papal butler was apprehended Friday over suspected ties to the so-called "Vatileaks" media scandal rocking the Holy See, the Associated Press reported

A series of apparent Church-related documents embarassing the Vatican have been leaked to the Italian media in recent weeks -- an affair dubbed "Vatileaks." The incident has prompted an unusual internal investigation by the Vatican, according to BBC.

Vatican magistrates today charged ex-butler Paolo Gabriele with stealing private Church papers, said BBC

The 46-year-old has been the pope's personal assistant for the past six years, one of a select number of non-churchmen allowed access to the private Papal apartments, said AP

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The case is "very serious," a Vatican source told Reuters on Friday. 

Vatican officials said the accused will be provided with "all the juridical guarantees foreseen by the criminal code of the State of Vatican City," according to BBC. The Holy See has no jail so Gabriele is being held in Vatican police secure rooms, according to Reuters. 

Today's news comes two days  after Vatican bank head Ettore Gotti Tedeschi -- also rumored to be behind some of the leaks -- was fired for not fulfilling the "primary functions of his office," according to the Vatican, said BBC

The Vatican has said the detained individual is being questioned by church officials but did not provide any more information, said BBC, while Italian media said the person worked in the Papal apartments.

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