26-October-2012 -- ZENIT.org News Agency |

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"The Term Inflicted Appears both Lenient and Just"

Vatican Secretariat of State Comments on Sentence of Former Papal Butler

By Pietro Gennarini

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 26, 2012 (Zenit.org).- The office of the Secretariat of State, headed by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, released a communique yesterday regarding the sentence of Paolo Gabriele. The accused is to begin today his 18-month prison term and faces a procedure for dismissal from his work duties.

Paolo Gabriele was recently found guilty for the aggravated theft of private documents belonging to Pope Benedict XVI. Claudio Sciarpelletti will stand trial in a later date for aiding and abetting the theft.

The statement underlined the gravity of the offenses done. "A personal offense was done to the Holy Father; the right to privacy of the many people [...] was violated [...] and scandal was caused among the community of the faithful," are some of the offenses enumerated in the communique's opening.

It also gives credit to the fairness of the Vatican's judicial process. "The accused admitted his guilt at the end of a judicial process which took place transparently and justly, and with full respect for the rights of the defense." The result of the trial, it continues, positively ruled out the possibility that Paolo Gabriele acted under the influence or involvement of third parties.

"Now that the sentence is final, Mr. Gabriele will have to serve the prison term imposed upon him," it informs, specifying that, "the possibility of pardon still remains." However, it presupposes, "repentance on the part of the accused, and a sincere request for pardon to the Supreme Pontiff and those who have been unjustly offended."

The statement concluded stressing the justness and leniency of the sentence imposed.

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