Should the Pope’s butler be put on trial?


A whistle-blowing butler to the Pope is being put on trial in the Vatican for aggravated theft after he leaked confidential papers and letters in the pontiff’s possession in a bid to expose alleged corruption.

Benedict feet away from us

Among the most important letters were those that Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the then deputy governor of the Vatican City, wrote to the Pope. The archbishop complained that he had discovered corruption, cronyism, nepotism and inflated pricing in the award of contracts to firms when he took office in 2009. (Sounds familiar, eh?)

Vigano was subsequently moved out and sent to Washington as Vatican ambassador. More details in the Irish Times.

The trial of the butler, Paolo Gabriele, raises an ethical dilemma. Sure, he may have been trusted to keep official matters confidential, but what if the secrets involved wrongdoing and corruption? Should he be put on trial then? He will probably be pardoned in the end, but should he be put on trial in the first place if he was acting according to his conscience?

In many ways, the butler’s dilemma is the same as that encountered by whsitleblowers everywhere. When confronted with serious wrongdoings and corruption, they have a real dilemma especially if they have taken an oath of confidentiality. But can we expect people with a conscience to remain silent if accountability, public interest and the common good are at stake?

To me, the answer is clear. Instead of putting the butler on trial, what is needed is a commission of inquiry to find out if the allegations in the letters had any basis. In this respect, it is puzzling (or maybe not) why the report of a separate investigation by cardinals into the matter has not been allowed by the trial judge.

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This is a typical reaction in any organisation,be it political,financial or even religious.The underlying fact is that those in power are fearful of truth.They are willing to hide the truth as truth always hurts those who are guilty.

It is sad that that the church which is supposed to defend truth and all costs is guilty of suppressing it.Where do we go from here?Whom do we turn to defend truth in the world today?


Well I don’t know much about the catholic obsession of a pope and the vatican. But what is right is right and what is wrong is wrong. It is very simple, if there was no corruption to begin with, why was that particular archbishop transferred at such precise timing. Coincidence? If you don’t want your wrongdoings released to the whole world, then pls don’t do wrong things. If you did something wrong, you cannot punish the whistleblower simply because of an oath he took, religious or otherwise. What logic is that and what kind of religious organisation subscribes to such… Read more »


The problem is you and the media are doing the same thing. The mdeia being more original than you. Whats been done or alleged to have been done by the Vatican cannot be “corrupt” or “wrong” unless it is a breach of their own laws. The Vatican is a sovereign state apart from being the seat of the Roman Catholic Church.


2409 Even if it does not contradict the provisions of civil law, any form of unjustly taking and keeping the property of others is against the seventh commandment: thus, deliberate retention of goods lent or of objects lost; business fraud; paying unjust wages; forcing up prices by taking advantage of the ignorance or hardship of another

Philip Andrew

Kevin: I think the issue here is if the butler should be put on trial and not why the pope is so ‘glorified’. We all agree to some extend that he should not have been charged at all and a commission for enquiry be established…but two wrongs does not make one right. He has committed a criminal breach. If this is allowed than it would just open the floodgates and we all could claim that we are performing an criminal act to uncover something… I find it rather distasteful that you go on a rampage on the Pope personally. It’s… Read more »

grkumarGopal Raj Kumar

This man is no whistleblower. He is a paid stooge paid to create sensationalism of the inner workings of the secretive Vatican. Where does it say the Vatican a sovereign state is democratic or accountable to its laymen and women? They have committed no crime. So whats whistleblowing about a Butler anyway? When the Vatican in the 1980’s became embroiled in the Banco Ambrosiano scandal that claimed the life of the banks head Roberto Calvi, who was found hanging under Blackfriars bridge in London, that incident rightfully and justifiably made headlines. For all the right reasons. it was later discovered… Read more »


“The Church is a dirty organization that preaches a political philosophy it can’t itself practice.”
This is a “p…..” sweeping statement! The Vatican Church is not representative of all churches of different denomination, so mind your language.


The Church began with the Vatican church. The rest of them are pretenders and breakaways. Perhaps you ought to mind your hitory.


Long before the advent of the Vatican Church, an offspring of the Roman church under the auspices of the Roman Empire, the first authentic (God’s intended) church for mankind was already in existence in the New Testament period under the grace & guidance of Jesus Christ & His 12 apostles & the performing of baptism of the Holy Spirit. Church, in laymen’s understanding is a body of Christians or a physical building. To Yahweh, His Church is a family of God abiding flesh & blood Christians who were/are saved on earth in the name of the Saviour Jesus (read John… Read more »


Well I don’t really believe in a seat of governance for God. Unlike our govt in Putrajaya, I doubt God requires physical location to be his seat of governance. He is present everyone and in the ppl who believe in him. And I don’t see how debating about the foundation of churches is relevant to this situation whereby the Pope’s butler revealed wrongdoings like corruption which are against public interest. Whether or not the Pope or the Vatican or Jerusalem came first doesn’t change the fact that a whistleblower, who exposed what is obviously wrongdoing is actually a good person.… Read more »

Gerakan K

Closed one eyes for your beloved one.

There is no angel in human no matter how you want to cheat yourself. The funniest thing happening in Malaysia is that someone claim that pakatan is angel MP/ ADUN / state government !!!

Hu hu, tak tau malu ~


That is why we must remove BN from power.


Nobody is talking about Pakatan as Angel. We are talking about the devils and how to (get rid of them). And I am sure everybody knows who the devils are. Just like every devil and syaitan, they cheat, corrupt and destroy and these devils are using … religion … for their own end. That is why (their) party must be (defeated) and prevent the country from going down the drain. Lets us stop Barang Naik and when Barang start naiking you will all soon be consumed by that very devil for another period until the saviour come along. Wait and… Read more »