So the Pope’s whistle-blowing butler gets an 18-month jail term – though he could be pardoned – for having in his possession and leaking confidential Vatican documents about corruption and other sensitive matters to the media.

But the outcome doesn’t answer the larger question about what the papers themselves contain.

The Independent reports:

Many of the papers were about spies, secret services, the occult, scandals involving the Vatican bank, and P2, a shadowy Masonic lodge whose members numbered many prominent Italian politicians, including Silvio Berlusconi.

So what’s all that about then?

And why was the butler subjected to 20 days detention in ‘secret rooms’ with the light continuously on? Doesn’t anyone see that he acted based on his conscience when confronted with whatever was in those documents?

The butler had more to lose, personally, than to gain from exposing the documents. He stood to lose a secure job, his reputation as a trusted employee, and even his freedom.

But he acted based on his conscience and took a risk. In the process, he did the universal church a big favour by acting as he did to shed light where there was lack of transparency. In many ways, his present predicament mirrors that of whistleblowers everywhere. (Just ask Julian Assange and our very own Rafizi Ramli.) But his conscience is clear.

A more independent investigation is needed to get to the root of what those papers contain, including the dealings of the Vatican Bank.