VATICAN CITY (AP) — The pope's butler has insisted that he's no thief and that he leaked the pope's private correspondence to a journalist out of a "visceral love" for the Catholic Church and its pope.
Paolo Gabriele delivered a final statement to a Vatican tribunal today before its three judges began deliberating whether he is guilty of aggravated theft in the gravest Vatican security breach in memory.
Defense attorney Cristiana Arru insisted in closing arguments that only photocopies, not original documents, were taken from the Apostolic Palace, disputing testimony from the pope's secretary that original letters were in the evidence seized from Gabriele's home.
She admitted Gabriele's gesture was "condemnable" but said it was a misappropriation, not a theft, and that Gabriele should serve no time.
A verdict is expected later today.