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Vatican leaks pinned on pope's own butler

An already sordid scandal over leaked Vatican documents took a Hollywood-like turn Saturday with confirmation that the pope's own butler had been arrested after documents he had no business having were found in his Vatican City apartment.

The detention of butler Paolo Gabriele capped one of the most convulsive weeks in recent Vatican history and threw the Holy See into chaos.

The tumult began with the publication last weekend of a book of leaked Vatican documents detailing power struggles, political intrigue and corruption in the highest levels of Catholic Church governance. It peaked with the inglorious ouster Thursday of the president of the Vatican bank. And it concluded with confirmation Saturday that Pope Benedict XVI's butler was the alleged mole feeding documents to Italian journalists in an apparent bid to discredit the pontiff's No. 2.

"If you wrote this in fiction, you wouldn't believe it," said Carl Anderson, a member of the board of the Vatican bank, which contributed to the tumult with its no-confidence vote in its president, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi. "No editor would let you put it in a novel."

Gotti Tedeschi was also accused by the board of leaking documents himself.

Gotti Tedeschi hasn't commented publicly about his ouster or the reasons behind it, saying he has too much admiration for the pope to do so. He also hasn't been arrested, avoiding the fate that befell Gabriele.

Gabriele, 46, a father of three, has been in Vatican detention since Wednesday after Vatican investigators discovered Holy See documents in his apartment. The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Gabriele had met with his attorneys.

Gabriele, the pope's personal butler since 2006, has often been seen by Benedict's side in public. In private, he is a member of the small papal household that includes the pontiff's private secretaries and four consecrated women who care for the papal apartment.

The "Vatileaks" scandal has seriously embarrassed the Vatican at a time when it is trying to show the world financial community that it has turned a page and shed its reputation as a scandal-plagued tax haven.

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