Papal pardon expected for butler after conviction
VATICAN CITY – A painful and damaging chapter in Pope Benedict XVI's papacy closed Saturday with the conviction of his former butler on charges he stole the pontiff's private letters and leaked them to a journalist. But questions remain as to whether anyone else was involved in the plot, and when the pope will pardon his once-trusted aide.
Paolo Gabriele, until recently affectionately dubbed "Paoletto" by his intimate pontifical family, stood stone-faced as Judge Giuseppe Dalla Torre read out the conviction and sentenced him to 18-months in prison for the gravest Vatican security breach in recent memory.
The decision, reached after just two hours of deliberations, capped a remarkable weeklong trial that saw the pope's closest adviser, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, and a half dozen Vatican police officers testify about a betrayal of the pope that exposed the unseemly side of the Catholic Church's governance.
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