Paolo Gabriele, with Pope Benedict XVI when he visited him in the Vatican prison in December 2012.- / AFP
Before the traitor who leaked hundreds of documents that left Benedict XVI in a very bad place was discovered, Italian journalists spoke of “
”, the thieving crow.
The Vatican did not give credit, neither to the existence of an infiltrator in the room where the pontiff slept, nor to the interpretation of the press.
The metaphor of
alluded to a servant of the imposing Saint Benedict, the Benedictine founder who felt surrounded by envious people who wanted to kill him.
His raven saved him from several assassination attempts by stealing the poisoned bread that was served to him.
The raven of Benedict XVI, thinking of saving the Pope from the wolves that harassed him (so wrote
, the official Vatican newspaper), what caused his beloved pontiff to end up going home.
"I did it out of love for the Pope and the Church," he declared in the crime room.
He died this Wednesday afternoon at the age of 54.
His name was Paolo Gabriele, he was sentenced to 18 years in prison, the Pope visited him in his cell weeks later to forgive him and placed him in the Bambino Gesú children's hospital, in Rome, with the promise that he would never speak to journalists again and never I would write a book.
Ironies of life, the clinic assigned him to the photocopy room.
The father of three children, Paolo Gabriele began his career working in the crews that polished the marble of St. Peter's Basilica.
How he became the main servant of Benedict XVI is a mysterious story, but the truth is that in 2006 he was already “the Pope's butler”, he earned 1,800 euros per month, he lived in a charming house paid by his employer, and every afternoon Before returning home, he would stop to chat with his neighbors "one day here, another there", according to police investigations, which classified him as an introvert.
The Pope's former butler took more than a thousand documents with his signature
Paolo Gabriele will serve a sentence in a Vatican cell
The Pope forgives his ex-butler, convicted of the theft of documents
He was hiding a secret, “a flaw” according to Benedict XVI's secretary, Georg Gänswein.
"He was obsessed with the secret services and things like that," he tells Peter Seewald, who has just published the biography of the pontiff with the title
The truth is that the person who served the Pope's food, helped him to go to bed and get up, packed his bags and accompanied him on all trips around the world turned the Vatican upside down by filtering documents that left half the world in a bad place .
The journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi published them in the book
Sua Santitá: le carte segrete di Benedetto XVI
(in the Spanish version,
The Secret Letters of Benedict XVI
) and showed on television reports on Cardinal Freemasons, letters from bishops to the Pope who committed them as accessories pedophiles, a page in which Benedict XVI regrets that his nuncio in Germany was not more energetic against Chancellor Angela Merkel, notes of the German Pope despising the copious financing of the German Catholic Church with public money (“a Catholicism well endowed economically, with hired Catholics who later relate to the Church with a union mentality ”, he says);
another report on the
that inhabits the curia, with data from the village outside of Rome where they spend time relaxing, etc.
On May 24, 2012, the police searched the butler's house for eight hours and took 82 boxes full of original or photocopied documents, two hard drives, a check for 100,000 euros issued by the Catholic University of Murcia, several nuggets of gold and a very valuable edition of the
, from 1581. It was a spoil of years, without instilling suspicion.
Paolo Gabriele thought that filtering so much brush served his boss.
He supposed that Benedict XVI would take action by throwing out corrupt and cover-ups from his side.
The opposite happened.
When the final version of the report prepared by a special commission (just 30 pages) was delivered to him, the Pope said, in the Wednesday general audience, that the whole matter "had filled his heart with sadness.
It was December 17, 2012. On February 11, 2013, he announced that he was going home.