Lifestyle & Belief

'VatiLeaks': Paolo Gabriele, Pope's ex-butler, to stand trial for leaking documents


Pope Benedict XVI waves as he stands with butler Paolo Gabriele, center, on May 4, 2011, at St Peter's square at The Vatican.



Pope Benedict XVI's former butler is set to be tried on charges of aggravated theft for leaking confidential papers from the pope's apartment to members of the press, the Vatican announced today.

A prosecutor in the case has said that Paolo Gabriele, who was a butler and personal assistant to the Pope, acted out of a desire to combat "evil and corruption everywhere in the Church," CNN reported. He faces up to six years in prison if convicted, the BBC reported.

The "hundreds" of documents in question include a check for 100,000 euros made out to the Pope from a Catholic university, a 1581 Italian translation of Virgil's classic poem Aeneid, and documents and memos that detailed "allegations of corruption, mismanagement and internal conflicts," according to the BBC.

Paolo Gabriele was arrested earlier this year after a rare investigation into leaks of confidential documents to Italian media. He is now living under house arrest. His trial is not expected to begin before September, CNN reported.

More from GlobalPost: Pope's butler awaiting Vatileaks charge from home

The BBC also reported that Gabriele admitted he was the source of leaked letters published in a controversial book by an Italian investigative journalist in May.

The indictment issued today by a Vatican judge also names Claudio Sciarpelletti, a computer expert charged with aiding and abetting Gabriele, according to the Associated Press.

The scandal has "embarrassed the Vatican and exposed infighting and alleged corruption at the highest levels," the Associated Press wrote. Dubbed "Vatileaks" in media reports, it is not clear that the source of the scandal has any relation to Vati Leaks, a site claiming to publish information "suppressed" by the Vatican.

Learn more "Vatileaks" background in the video below: