Butler was 'trying to protect Pope from wolves'
The Italian journalist behind the Vatileaks scandal has defended the actions of the Pope's butler, saying he was trying to protect Benedict XVI from "wolves" circling him in the Holy See.
Gianluigi Nuzzi called on the 85-year-old Pontiff to pardon Paolo Gabriele, who was sentenced to 18 months in prison at the weekend after being found guilty of stealing confidential papers from the Pope's offices.
Mr Nuzzi said a stream of cardinals and bishops approached the butler in the hope that through him they could communicate their unhappiness about the power games and intrigues that were allegedly taking place at the heart of the Catholic Church.
"Little by little Paolo Gabriele became the confidant of those who, among the bishops and cardinals, were like him torn between their sincere admiration for the Pope and concern over behind-the-scenes manoeuvring," Mr Nuzzi wrote in a newspaper article.
The claim contradicts the Vatican's insistence that Mr Gabriele had only one collaborator, a computer expert. The technician, Claudio Sciarpelletti, is expected to go on trial next month. Mr Nuzzi's editorial backs up the theory that the butler's trial was a cover-up and he may have been a small part of a much broader conspiracy.
Mr Nuzzi said the 46-year-old valet leaked the confidential documents to publicise corruption, hypocrisy and "injustices" in the Holy See. (© Daily Telegraph, London)
Analysis Pages 24-25