Lifestyle & Belief

Paolo Gabriele, former Vatican butler, pardoned by the Pope


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



Paolo Gabriele, the former butler who was sentenced to 18 months in jail for leaking papal documents, has been pardoned and banished form the Vatican. 

Pope Benedict XVI pardoned Gabriele early Saturday, visiting his ex-butler in prison "in order to confirm his forgiveness and communicate in person his decision to grant Mr. Gabriele's request for pardon, thereby remitting the sentence passed against the latter," according to a statement by Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi.

"This constitutes a paternal gesture toward a person with whom the Pope shared a relationship of daily familiarity for many years," the statement added, CNN reported

More from GlobalPost: Paolo Gabriele, Pope's former butler, begins jail sentence in Vatican cell

Though Gabriele has been banned from living in Vatican City, the Vatican said it would help him find a job and housing somewhere else, according to the Associated Press

"Since he cannot resume his previous occupation or continue to live in Vatican City, the Holy See, trusting in his sincere repentance, wishes to offer him the possibility of returning to a serene family life," the statement said.

He was sent immediately home after his pardon meeting with the Pope. 

In October, Gabriele was found guilty of leaking sensitive memos to the press, which he said he did to expose "evil and corruption" in the Vatican, Agence France Presse reported.

More from GlobalPost: Claudio Sciarpelletti, computer technician, sentenced in Vatileaks case