Catholic Church | Pope Benedict | Religion | Vatican

Vatican Leak Is Plugged; Papal Tattle-Tale In Confinement

SadpopeOne week ago, Italian journalist and TV star Gianluigi Nuzzi released a book called His Holiness: The Secret Papers of Pope Benedict XVI, which became an instant-best seller in Italy's bookstors and seriously angered the Holy See. It was a tell-all, delivering the goods on Catholic fiscal impropriety, the covering up of Catholic fiscal impropriety, priestly boyfriends, and the headaches of dealing with the endless rolling scandal that is the American Catholic Church. Notably, the Vatican hasn't denied the book's authenticity, though it does claim its publication was illegal.

Nuzzi had been releasing his Catholic dirt and dribs and drabs for a year on his television show, The Untouchables, causing a rising tide of panic in the Vatican. And the information unearthed got weirder and uglier with every episode. By May, his spelunking in the oubliettes of Catholic rumor and secrecy had caused the Italian police to exhume the body of a feared mobster who'd been (for some uncertain reason) buried in the Holy See, right next to the Opus Dei HQ. In the mobster's tomb, police hoped to find the remains of a 15-year-old named Emanuela Orlandi who went missing three decades ago, perhaps because her dad had some dirt on a Cardinal. (Many bodies were found in the tomb; DNA testing ought to reveal whose they are or aen't sometime soon.)

Well -- when His Holiness came out, His Holiness decided he wasn't going to stand for Nuzzi's prying any longer. He bid three of his toughest Opus Dei goons to stop all Vatican leaks immediately. Which they did. The presumed leaker has been identified. He was Pope's butler and personal attendant, Paolo Gabriele.

From CNN:

Paolo Gabriele, 46, was arrested Wednesday for illegal possession of confidential documents, found in his apartment in Vatican territory, the Vatican said in a statement Saturday.

Gabriele, who has worked as the papal butler since 2006, is one of only a handful of people with access to the pontiff's private desk.

His job included handing out rosaries to dignitaries and riding in the front seat of the "Popemobile," a vehicle used for public papal appearances, as seen in many photographs showing Gabriele with the pope.

Elsewhere in the story appears maybe the most frightening line of prose I've read this week:

Gabriele is being held in a special cell within the Vatican City, a walled enclave within Rome ...

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  1. Well, Ms. Prada Shoes herself certainly got her panties in an uproar. I guess The Popette can't handle the truth. Now we know who the Mafia has modeled itself after: The Catholic Church.

    Opus Dei is a thug criminal enterprise and has been for decades. One shudders to think how many people have been "silenced" by The Vatican.

    May the Truth finally be told.

    Posted by: jamal49 | May 27, 2012 12:24:18 PM

  2. Dave:

    The book has yet to be translated into English. I'm sure it will be.

    - BKT

    Posted by: Brandon K. Thorp | May 27, 2012 12:50:14 PM

  3. Is anyone surprised?

    BTW, Opus Dei is Latin for "the work of God." And, if I remember correctly, it is the name St. Augustine gave to his bastard child.

    Posted by: if the shoe fits | May 27, 2012 1:58:34 PM


    Posted by: andrew | May 27, 2012 4:42:54 PM

  5. Does the Pope still have the Rack, and the other instruments of torture in the basement?

    Posted by: Jerry6 | May 27, 2012 9:19:43 PM

  6. This is all quite fascinating. I love Sant' Apollinare, but I've never managed to get inside.

    It's not the Opus Dei headquarters. Their seminary, Santa Croce (affectionately known as the Crotch) is next to it.

    Opus Dei's headquarters are up north of Piazza del Populo in the tony Parioli neighborhood on Bruno Buozzi.

    Posted by: Jose Escriva | May 28, 2012 2:56:21 PM

  7. Augustine had a child out of wedlock named Adeodatus (God-given). He wrote dialogues early in his life with the boy Adeodatus as an interlocutor (De Magistro, On the Teacher, being the best known).

    Adeodatus died at about 11 or 12, and Augustine was torn up about it.

    Posted by: Jose Escriva | May 28, 2012 3:02:46 PM

  8. The butler is obviously a scapegoat. My money is on the hot secretary. It's always the hot secretary. He even has his own fansite:

    Posted by: Ruddigore | May 29, 2012 2:08:48 PM

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