On Saturday, Paolo Gabriele was charged with illegal possession of secret documents that revealed cronyism in Vatican contracts and prompted allegations of corruption and infighting over the management of the Vatican Bank.
The Holy See, however, has remained tight-lipped about the scandal, which has come to be known as “Vatileaks.”
Pope Benedict XVI’s spokesman, Federico Lombardi, said that the Pope was “saddened and shocked” by Gabriele’s arrest.
Many Vatican insiders believe the butler, who had access to the Pope’s private apartment, could not have acted alone.
A friend close to Gabriele told La Stampa on Saturday that he was encouraged by an “important person” to keep top secret documents. Pundits say this shows there are other issues which have not been revealed yet.
Meanwhile, another Italian daily, La Repubblica, reported that there could be other suspects and moles in the Vatican case.
“A woman is among the moles in the Vatican, a secular one who works for the Apostolic Palace” where the pope lives, the La Repubblica report said, describing her as a young married woman who also has a job outside the Vatican.
She accompanied Benedict XVI on his trip to Mexico and Cuba last March.
“No one thinks the butler was capable of orchestrating the ‘Vatileaks’ by himself and so the focus is on a higher, ecclesiastical level,” the Italian daily Corriere della Sera wrote.
“Maybe someone set up the butler by placing the documents at his house or maybe he was executing orders from higher up. When you are loyal you are also obedient,” the paper added.
As an independent country, The Vatican has its own judicial system, which is not connected to the Italian judicial system. However, the 108-acre city-state does not have holding cells to incarcerate anyone on a long-term basis, and it may ask the Italian judicial system to accommodate Gabriele, who could face a 30-year prison sentence.
On Thursday, Vatican Bank President Ettore Gotti Tedeschi was dismissed by its board for not being up to the job. Italian media outlets say he is suspected of having a hand in the leaks.
“It’s a very peculiar bank. A bank that manages billions, including real estate,” Bavarian Finance Center President Wolfgang Gehrke said.
“It’s a bank that is active in financial markets on the Vatican’s behalf and that has set itself apart as one of the least transparent banks in the world. So, of course, when someone is being so untransparent, he also has to cope with every possible kind of rumor,” Gehrke added.
Tedeschi says he will not respond to the allegations being made about him.
“It’s better that I remain silent, otherwise I would say ugly things,” he told the Italian news agency Ansa