23 Dec 2012

Former butler pardoned by pope

7:04 am on 23 December 2012

Pope Benedict XVI has pardoned his former butler who is serving an prison sentence of 18 months for stealing confidential papers.

In a statement the Vatican said the Pope visited Paolo Gabriele in prison to personally inform him of the decision.

The former butler was found guilty on 6 October of stealing and copying the Pope's documents and leaking them to an journalist.

The BBC reports Gabriele, 46, said he acted out of love for the Church, because he believed the Pope was being manipulated.

Another Vatican employee convicted of aiding Gabrielle was also pardoned.