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Pope issues pardon to former valet convicted on 'Vatileaks' charges

Catholic World News - December 22, 2012

(This news story was originally posted December 22, and is re-posted today for the benefit of readers accustomed to the CWN weekday news service.)

Pope Benedict XVI has pardoned Paolo Gabriele, his former valet, who was convicted of aggravated theft in the “Vatileaks” scandal.

Pope Benedict visited Gabriele in his prison cell on December 22, to deliver news of the pardon in person and to tell his former valet that he was also forgiven for leaking confidential papal documents.

The papal gesture, which was widely expected, allows Gabriele to celebrate Christmas with his family. Gabriele was promptly released from prison and returned home.

Gabriele had formally requested a pardon from the Pontiff after his October conviction. Vatican officials had said that the Pope was likely to issue a pardon, provided that his former valet showed sincere contrition for his actions.

“This constitutes a paternal gesture towards a person with whom the Pope shared a relationship of daily familiarity for many years,” the Vatican press office observed in a statement announcing the pardon. “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.”

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