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Witnesses Testify Against Pope’s Butler Who Stole, Leaked Papal Documents

October 3, 2012 at 12:00 AM EST
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JUDY WOODRUFF: The inner workings of the Vatican were in the spotlight today, as the pope’s former butler took the stand in a trial focused on stolen church documents.

Jeffrey Brown reports.

JEFFREY BROWN: As Pope Benedict XVI arrived in St. Peter’s Square for his weekly address, final witnesses testified in the trial of his former butler.

Members of the Holy See’s police force told a Vatican court they found thousands of the pope’s papers hidden in the apartment of Paolo Gabriele. On many of the documents, the pope had written in his native German “To be destroyed.”

Gabriele worked for the Vatican for two decades and served as the pope’s butler beginning in 2006. He’s accused of stealing confidential papers and leaking them to Italian journalists, including Gianluigi Nuzzi, who published them in his book “His Holiness: The Secret Papers of Pope Benedict XVI” in May.

Gabriele has confessed to taking the papers, saying he wanted to expose what he called evil and corruption in the church. Still, under Vatican law, the trial must proceed. A formal verdict is expected on Saturday.