Pope Pardons Ex-Butler Who Stole, Leaked Documents – 22 December 2012

121222_popebutlerpardon.photoblog600AFP – Getty Images

Former Vatican butler Paolo Gabriele meets Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican City prison Saturday, as seen in this handout photo released by the Osservatore Romano.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI granted his former butler a Christmas pardon Saturday, forgiving him in person during a jailhouse meeting for stealing and leaking his private papers in one of the gravest Vatican security breaches in recent times.

After the 15-minute meeting, Paolo Gabriele was freed and returned to his Vatican City apartment where he lives with his wife and three children. The Vatican said he couldn’t continue living or working in the Vatican, but said it would find him housing and a job elsewhere soon.

“This is a paternal gesture toward someone with whom the pope for many years shared daily life,” according to a statement from the Vatican secretariat of state.

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