Saturday, December 22, 2012


PARDON TO FORMER BUTLER - Pope Benedict made a surprise pre-Christmas visit to the jail holding his former butler on Saturday and pardoned him for stealing and leaking documents that alleged corruption in the Holy See. The pope and Paolo Gabriele spent about 15 minutes together before Gabriele was freed and allowed to return to his family in their Vatican apartment, a Vatican spokesman said. Gabriele was convicted of aggravated theft on October 6 in a case that shone unwelcome publicity on the Vatican and had been serving an 18-month sentence in a jail cell in the city state's police headquarters. 
Gabriele was arrested in May after Vatican police found many documents in his possession that had been stolen from the pope's office. The former butler gave them to the media in what mushroomed into an embarrassing scandal for Benedict's pontificate that became known as “Vatileaks”.

Gabriele told investigators he had leaked the documents because he saw “evil and corruption everywhere in the Church” and that information was being hidden from the pope. The Vatican said the pope had also pardoned a second Vatican employee, Claudio Sciarpelletti, who was convicted in a separate trial of helping Gabriele and given a two month suspended sentence. Gabriele will no longer be able to work in the Vatican but will be helped to find a job and start a new life outside its walls together with his family, the Vatican said. The documents Gabriele leaked triggered one of the biggest crises of Pope Benedict's papacy when they emerged in a muckraking expose by an Italian journalist earlier this year. 
The case was all the more embarrassing for the Vatican because it came at a time when it was trying to limit the reputational fallout from a series of scandals involving sexual abuse of minors by clerics around the world as well as from mismanagement at its bank.

The Vatican said Pope Benedict XVI has pardoned Paolo Gabriele, his former butler who was convicted of leaking sensitive documents that alleged corruption in the Holy See. In one of the most dramatic betrayals of trust in Vatican history, Gabriele, who served the pope his meals and helped him dress, photocopied some documents the pope had marked “to be destroyed”. The Vatican's presiding judge decided to cut his sentence from three years to 18 months. “This was a paternal gesture towards a person with whom the pope shared his daily life for several years,” Father Federico Lombardi, a spokesman, said. “This is a happy ending in this Christmas season,” he said. Forgiveness is a virtue. It is a transcendental quality which belongs to godly men endowed with divine nature.

Different personalities become beautiful by possessing different qualities. Cānakya Pandita says that the cuckoo bird, although very black, is beautiful because of its sweet voice. Similarly, a woman becomes beautiful by her chastity and faithfulness to her husband, and an ugly person becomes beautiful when he becomes a learned scholar. In the same way, brāhmanas, ksatriyas, vaiśyas and śūdras become beautiful by their qualities. Brāhmanas are beautiful when they are forgiving, ksatriyas when they are heroic and never retreat from fighting, vaiśyas when they enrich cultural activities and protect cows, and śūdras when they are faithful in the discharge of duties pleasing to their masters. Thus everyone becomes beautiful by his special qualities. And the special quality of the brāhmana, as described here, is forgiveness.

Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda :
Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 9.15.40 - Canto 9: “Liberation”
Chapter 15: “Paraśurāma, the Lord's Warrior Incarnation”
Verse 40 - Bhaktivedanta VedaBase Network

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"

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