Pope’s butler held in flap over confidential papers

The Vatican confirmed Saturday that Pope Benedict XVI’s butler has been arrested on suspicion of leaking confidential documents and letters from the pontiff’s private quarters.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said Paolo Gabriele, 46, was arrested Wednesday after secret documents were found in his Vatican City home. Gabriele had been the pope’s personal butler since 2006, one of the few members of the papal household, which includes a few nuns and secretaries.

The scandal, dubbed Vatileaks by the media, involves the leaking of a string of documents earlier this year to Italian media. The documents allege corruption in Vatican finances and have centered on the activities of Cardinal and Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone.

The pope has ordered several investigations into the leak, which took on greater weight several days ago with the publication of “His Holiness,” a book written by Gianluigi Nuzzi that reproduced confidential letters and documents reportedly smuggled out by unnamed whistle blowers.

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