What was in these sensitive documents and how did the butler get a hold of them? Wouldn't the butler be in charge of serving tea and ironing the pope's hat?
“Well, whatever one thinks of the Roman Church, it is a worthy and powerful foe. I could accept that sort of conversion with grace. But I shall be very disappointed indeed if we lose him to the Presbyterians.”
The Secret History, by Donna Tartt
Here's a random list of the headlines from various sites:
Pope's Butler Charged in 'Vatileaks' Scandal at Aljzeera
Did the pope's butler, Paolo Gabriele, really do it? at the Daily Beast
Vatican in Chaos after Pope's Butler Arrested for Leaks at Huffingtonpost
I did not even know the Pope had a butler or that his personal assistant was referred to as a butler. I thought butlers were an English countryside aristocratic novelty.
OK, so now we know the Pope has a butler. What was in these sensitive documents and how did the butler get a hold of them? Wouldn't the butler be in charge of serving tea and ironing the pope's hat? How would he get a hold of tell-tale memos on corruption and cronyism, as claimed the press?
The Vatican or the Holy See is a state of its own ruled by a fellow called the Pope. So, whenever he goes abroad, the man with the funny hat has all the powers and privileges as head of a state. He drives around in a funny car called the Pope Mobile.
But, that's not all. The Vatican is the administrative seat of one of the most powerful religious institutions in the world: the Catholic Church. Even the word powerful is not powerful enough to really describe what the Catholic Church was and still is.
It is infamous in history for equalling the power of kings during Europe's Dark Ages; it has waged wars to free the Holy Land; it has burned witches; it has held deadly inquisitions; it has house imprisoned pretty decent scientists; new worlds have been pillaged and conquered in its name; its priests have molested little innocent children; and it has inspired some awesome cathedrals and paintings.
It has been a formidable institution throughout the ages. It has amassed great wealth and power. It is wrapped in mystery and holds on to centuries-old traditions and rituals. They elect new popes by blowing smoke out of chimneys.
And, guess who was about to spill all its dark secrets? Not Dan Brown but the Butler! So close! Now, he's rotting away in a heavily-guarded room in some tower in the Vatican.