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October 06, 2012 10:10 AM Vatileaks, Ctd, Ctd.

By Simon van Zuylen-Wood

Last weekend, I highlighted the return of the Vatileaks story, as ex-Papal butler Paolo Gabriele (one of fewer than ten men with access to the Pontiff’s personal elevator) went on trial for stealing documents from his boss and leaking them to a journalist. A quick week later, Gabriele has been sentenced to 18 months in prison. A closing thought on the Sistine Bradley Manning: It doesn’t seem quite fair that this trial took place in a Vatican Court. When the Court’s highest authority is the Pope, and the Pope is mad that his butler stole damning documents and leaked them all over the place, what exactly is supposed to happen to the butler. Talk about home field advantage.

Simon van Zuylen-Wood is a writer for Philadelphia Magazine.

Comments

  • c u n d gulag on October 06, 2012 10:22 AM:

    18 months?

    He got off easy!

    Imagine what would have happened to this stupid bastard if he'd lifted something from one of the Medici Pope's!

    He'd be begging to be slowly burned at the stake just to relieve the torture.

  • martin on October 06, 2012 10:24 AM:

    I'll make the obvious comment: He got a worse punishment than child molesting priests. Tells you all you need to know about the vatican.

  • c u n d gulag on October 06, 2012 10:29 AM:

    martin,
    The difference is that he was taking something out.

    The priests were putting something in.

  • Josef K on October 06, 2012 10:57 AM:

    Interesting fact: Vatican City was recognized in treaty as an independent city-state in 1929 by Mussolini.

    A portend of the future, or just like-recognizing-like?

  • Anonymous on October 06, 2012 11:10 AM:

    Interesting fact: Vatican City was recognized in treaty as an independent city-state in 1929 by Mussolini. A portend of the future, or just like-recognizing-like?

    Neither. The Papal States had long been regognized as a nation-state, but their territory had been sliced and diced by the unification process of Italy. The 1929 concordance finalized the boundaries of the Vatican (and allowed for Vatican recognition of Rome as the capital of the Italian state), in exchange for, inter alia, recognition of Catholicism as the state religion.

  • Novanglus on October 06, 2012 3:19 PM:


    1. The Vatican is not a 'nation-state'; France and Germany are nation-states, sharing a common language, history, and cultural lexicon. The Vatican is, however, an independent state.

    2. The Vatican State's boundaries were not finalized by the 1929 agreement between Mussolini and the Papacy; rather, they were (re)created. The Papal States went out of existence after the newly-united Italy's capture of Rome in 1870. After Mussolini's assumption of power in the 1920s, the Fascist regime was eager to seek a modus vivendi with the Vatican in order to eliminate a potential source of opposition. Thus, the recreation of the modern Vatican as an independent state in 1929.

    3. As for the fairness issue: the Vatican is an absolute monarchy; this is the way absolute monarchies run their trials. This is, incidentally, the reason so many American Catholics find the Church hierarchy basically incompatible with our civic worldview.

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  • Texas Aggie on October 08, 2012 1:39 AM:

    On a related tack, 18 months of house arrest for trying to clean up some of the most sordid aspects of the workings of the Vatican compared to a plush seven room apartment with servants at beck and call for Bernard Law who tried to hide some of the most sordid aspects of the Catholic Church. And Ratzinger continues to blame secularist forces in society for the decline of the catholic church. Oh, and the nuns, too, those uppity battle axes who don't know their place.