The swift conviction of Pope Benedict’s former butler leaves lingering suspicions that he was a pawn in a much larger Vatican intrigue involving infighting in the papal court and alleged corruption at the highest levels of the Roman Catholic Church.
Despite the Vatican’s desire to quickly turn the page on one of the worst scandals in its recent history, the trial of Paolo Gabriele for leaking sensitive documents has left many questions unanswered, leading some to call it a whitewash.
Pope Benedict’s former butler Paolo Gabriele (C) walks in the court at the Vatican October 6, 2012.
Gabriele’s trial was concluded at lightening speed, ending on Saturday after only four hearings and it was an open secret that proceedings would end before a three-week gathering of bishops from around the world began on Sunday.
"The Vatican whitewashes it all," headlined Il Fatto Quotidiano, one of the newspapers that published material leaked by Gabriele, who had privileged access to the papal apartments.
While other commentators were less categorical about the possibility of orchestrated cover-up, most agreed that the trial left many unsolved mysteries and lingering contradictions.
"It seems to me there was a clear effort by the Vatican to keep any revelations within boundaries," said John Allen, an author of numerous books on the Catholic Church and the papacy.
"Their attempt at transparency by holding the trial in the first place was only partly successful," he told Reuters.
Gabriele was sentenced to 18 months in detention, to be served under house arrest in anticipation of a papal pardon.
The documents he leaked constituted one of the biggest crises of Pope Benedict’s papacy, embarrassing the Vatican as it struggled to overcome a string of child sex abuse scandals involving clerics and mismanagement at its bank.
Gabriele told investigators he had acted because he saw "evil and corruption everywhere in the Church" and that information was being hidden from the pope.
Facebook’s New ‘Chinese-style’ Political Censorship System Goes Global 2015-01-29 4:35
Last week 21WIRE reported on Facebook’s new communitarian policy whereby readers can ‘flag’ content as “fake news” if they believe it’s not real, or if they do not like it. In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo False Flag event, the social media giant is now allowing governments to determine what is ‘good free speech’, and what is not.
“An article ...
"Cheerful" Dutch Financier Becomes 4th ABN Amro Banker Suicide 2015-01-28 23:47
Following the deaths of 36 bankers last year, 2015 has got off to an inauspicious start with the reported suicide of Chris Van Eeghen - the 4th ABN Amro banker suicide in the last few years. As Quotenet reports, the death of Van Eghen - the head of ABN's corporate finance and capital markets -"startled" friends and colleagues as ...
West’s tributes to late Saudi King reveal hypocrisy not democracy 2015-01-27 2:16
Hypocrisy is not usually regarded as a virtue of leadership, yet judging by the gushing tributes paid to Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah by various Western governments and establishment figures on his death, there are those who believe it should be.
In the UK this hypocrisy has been stretched to breaking point with the decision to fly the flags over Downing ...
Millions of GMO insects could be set loose in Florida Keys 2015-01-27 2:34 Millions of genetically modified mosquitoes could be released in the Florida Keys if British researchers win approval to use the bugs against two extremely painful viral diseases.
Never before have insects with modified DNA come so close to being set loose in a residential U.S. neighborhood.
"This is essentially using a mosquito as a drug to cure disease," said Michael Doyle, executive ...
Furguson Scared The Super - Rich So Bad They're Planning Exits 2015-01-27 0:22
According to a speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Ferguson and Occupy absolutely terrified the world’s super-rich, and now they’re buying airstrips and farms in remote locations to escape to.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which was held between January 21-24, over 2,500 leaders in the fields of business, international politics, academia and journalism met to discuss ...