By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
Today the Vatican confirmed it’s proceeding to a criminal trial against Paolo Gabriele, the 45-year-old former papal butler charged with being the mole at the heart of the Vatican leaks scandal, which has featured revelations painting an unflattering picture of corruption, cronyism and palace intrigue. Also to stand trial is 48-year-old Claudio Scarpelletti, a computer specialist working in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, charged with a minor offense of aiding and abetting Gabriele’s crime, based on discovery of an envelope containing sensitive materials found in his Vatican desk. This morning, the Vatican released 35 pages of material related to the case, comprised of two lengthy reports – one from the Vatican’s prosecutor, the other from the judge who ruled that both Gabrielle and Scarpelletti must stand trial. Those documents contain extracts from the interrogations of both men, as well as from two psychological evaluations of Gabriele. (Under the Vatican’s penal law, the psychological state of the accused is relevant to assessing culpability.)