OK, it's not quite The Da Vinci Code or even The Godfather: Part III, but a scandal rocking the Vatican is aways better than no scandal rocking the Vatican.
Pope Benedict's butler Paolo Gabriele has been arrested for possession of confidential Vatican documents. It is believed Gabriele had been leaking information to journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, who published the documents in his Vatican tell-all His Holiness. Nuzzi refused to name his source, referring to him or her only as Maria.
As the Pope's butler, Gabriele's duties included handing out rosaries to dignitaries and riding in the front of the Popemobile. If it helps, you can think of him as Alfred and Robin combined.
Written with the help of the privileged information Gabriele provided, His Holiness exposes a power struggle within the Vatican through numerous internal documents, including memos, faxes, and letters. (I guess the Pope is not big on Gchat.)
The documents show that the allegations of corruption and money laundering were a concern for a number of high ranking prelates, including Carlo Maria Vigano, who is now the Papal Nuncio in Washington, DC.
The Vatican all but admitted the documents are legit, instead choosing to focus on the criminal breach of privacy.
Because Vatican City is recognized as its own state, Gabriele is subject to the Vatican's judicial system — not Italy's. He's currently being held in a "special cell" somewhere in Vatican City. (Can I be honest with you, Pope and friends? You're not making this look any less shady.)
In response to the leak, Pope Benedict is "saddened and shocked" and totally planning something nefarious. I can't actually confirm that last bit, but I'm still not convinced we're getting the whole story. I guess I'll have to hold out for the shitty Dan Brown adaptation.
[Image via AP]