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‘Vatileaks’ convict receives papal clemency

December 20, 2016

Msgr. Angelo Vallejo Balda, who was convicted in July for his role in the “Vatileaks II” scandal, has received a “conditional pardon” from Pope Francis and been released from prison.

Msgr. Vallejo Balda, who had served as the secretary of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, was sentenced by a Vatican tribunal to serve eighteen months in prison. He had admitted to making secret Vatican documents available to reporters—although he said he had acted under pressure.

The Vatican announced on December 20 that Pope Francis had decided, just days before Christmas, to grant Msgr. Vallejo Balda’s release from confinement at the Vatican. He will be barred from further employment at the Vatican, but will be available for service in his home diocese of Astorga, Spain. “The penalty is not settled, but he has the benefit of parole,” the Vatican explained.

Msgr. Vallejo Balda had written to Pope Francis several months ago, requesting a pardon for his crime. He had hoped that the pardon might be granted as a gesture during the Year of Mercy. In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI had pardoned his valet, Paolo Gabriele, who had also been sentenced to an 18-month prison term after his conviction for a similar crime in the first “Vatileaks” case.

 
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