Pope's butler: innocent, but guilty of betrayal

Associated Press
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FILE- In this Monday, April 21, 2008 file photo, Pope Benedict XVI's butler Paolo Gabriele, right, carries the pontiff's bags as they arrive at Ciampino military airport in Rome from a six-day trip in the U.S. Pope Benedict XVI's ex-butler Paolo Gabriele and another Vatican lay employee, Claudio Sciarpelletti, are scheduled to go on trial Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012, in the embarrassing theft of papal documents that exposed alleged corruption at the Holy See's highest levels. Gabriele was arrested May 24 after Vatican police found what prosecutors called an "enormous'' stash of documents from the pope's desk in his Vatican City apartment. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis, File)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI's butler has said he is innocent of stealing the pope's private correspondence but guilty of betraying the trust of the pontiff, whom he said he loved like a son would love his father.

Paolo Gabriele took the stand Tuesday in a Vatican courtroom to defend himself against a charge of aggravated theft. Prosecutors say Gabriele stole papal letters and documents alleging power struggles and corruption and passed them off to a journalist in one of the most damaging scandals of Benedict's pontificate.

In other testimony Tuesday, the pope's private secretary, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, testified that he began having suspicions about Gabriele after he realized three documents that appeared in the journalist's book could only have come from the office he shared with Gabriele.