VATICAN CITY — Paolo Gabriele, the Pope’s former butler who was released from prison just before Christmas, has a new job working for an extension of the Vatican hospital Bambino Gesu.
According to the German Catholic agency KNA, Gabriele has been offered a job doing clerical work for a new branch of the hospital near the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls. He will also receive assistance with housing, since his wife and three children must move out of their current Vatican apartment.
The new extension of the hospital was opened on Sept. 10, 2012, and focuses on outpatient care for children. In early 2013, it will include a research center dedicated to pediatric diseases and illnesses.
The former butler was sentenced Oct. 6, 2012, to 18 months in prison for leaking sensitive papal documents to the media.
In an Oct. 26 Vatican communiqué, the Holy See summed up the damage caused by Gabriele by saying that a “personal offense was done to the Holy Father” and “the right to privacy of the many people who … addressed themselves to him was violated.”
But on Dec. 22, Pope Benedict visited his former aide in prison to forgive him and pardon him for his crime.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told journalists that the Pope’s visit was “a paternal gesture towards a person with whom the Pope shared a relationship of daily familiarity for many years.”
When Italian police officers searched Gabriele’s apartment May 23, following the publication of several confidential letters in Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi’s book Your Holiness, they discovered approximately 1,000 incriminating documents and 82 boxes of evidence.
During the trial, the judges heard how Gabriele stole copies of confidential documents from the papal apartments. These included personal documents sent between the Pope and various cardinals, encrypted communications from papal ambassadors across the world, and some papers marked by the Pope with “to be destroyed” in German.