Vatican: Pope not resigning over alleged papers leak
Pope Benedict XVI travels with his butler Paolo Gabriele, center, who was arrested in connection with leaked papal documents.
May 31st, 2012
01:39 PM ET

Vatican: Pope not resigning over alleged papers leak

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - Pope Benedict XVI's spokesman has denied the pontiff will resign over the arrest of his butler on suspicion of leaking confidential documents, the Vatican press office said Thursday.

During a Wednesday meeting with journalists to answer questions about the situation, the Rev. Frederico Lombardi said the "hypothesis" advanced by some media outlets that the pope would resign are "baseless creations of some journalists, which have no foundation in reality."

Butler Paolo Gabriele, 46, was arrested last week and accused of illegal possession of confidential documents. Lombardi said Wednesday that Gabriele has met with his attorneys, "who will probably request monitored surveillance or house arrest for their client."

Gabriele, one of only a handful of people with access to the pontiff's private desk, has been charged with aggravated theft for allegedly stealing private documents, Lombardi said earlier. He is suspected of leaking the papers to an Italian journalist.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI

soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. leslee


    June 3, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
  2. mikstov33

    Sure....paves the way for Petrus Romanus.....Peter of Rome.Read the prophecy of St. Malachy.

    June 1, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • Give me a break

      they all play the game. The vatican boys, pope included, are no more than juvenile delinquents that never grew up. Prophecies will seem real, only because they are known and have been read. In the end, the delusional will actually believe them. In effect, the vatican is in a 'play' in which they are all taking part in. They are no different than a premeditated murder who planned the murder.

      June 3, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  3. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    June 1, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Serious Lee

      So does mind control.

      June 2, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      June 4, 2012 at 10:47 am |
  4. gary

    pope = corrupt bureaucrat... RCC = sick dangerous cult. RCC is not about religion, but power, money and control.

    June 1, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • buddhabill

      WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? I see nothing but love and compassion when I look into the bastid's eyes. Either that or a lecherous evil fluck who will cling to power no matter what.

      June 2, 2012 at 1:26 am |
    • Crazyhorse


      June 2, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  5. Stuart

    Witness accounts, whether you believe it or not, are evidence. And, if you believe they made it up, it is interesting that each writer were put to death defending their words. The books of the New Testament were closer in time to the actual event than most histories of that time or earlier that are generally accepted as true. Just saying.

    June 1, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Neeneko

      I don't know which 'generally' you are referring too, but it isn't by historians... maybe by people within the faith, but that is pretty much the equivalent of saying 'most democrats think the democratic party is better then the republicans', it is a tautology.

      June 1, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
  6. EJ

    So glad that "experts" are reporting that God definitely does not exist. What evidence do you people possess that you refuse to share with the remainder of mankind? I must remind you that God exists outside of the bounds of our universe. He must by definition of who He is otherwise He could not have created the universe. Existing outside of the bounds of our physical universe, how then can science manage to detect Him? Please provide your evidence, I eagerly await the piles of facts to show up here. Or, wait, there are none.

    June 1, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Wrath of Crom

      Lol! Your god is so supernatural there is no way to "detect" him? In other words he does not exist. You have no proof whatsoever of any god. There is no evidence that a god has ever existed. Religious text are not proof of anything. Essentially you have just said your god does not exist because their is no evidence or proof of it. You pwnd yourself. Thanks for the laugh.

      June 1, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • thetruth

      Exactly. God by definition is immaterial (not material) so therefore He cannot be observed using the scientific method, which can only describe material phenomena.

      The proof of God is so basic that people who cannot see him frankly are not looking hard enough. Check Acquinas' 5 ways for irrefutable evidence for a creator (I encourage sincere readers to check out the one on motion – what we think of as change today). Mull it over. Then think about the Big Bang (which is not necessary, but fits quite nicely with it). It is irrefutable if one uses logic and reasoning correctly.

      June 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • derp

      Sasquatch exists outside the bounds of the universe as well. Although he does occasionally slip into the woods of the Pacific northwest just to f uc k with us.

      Do you believe in sasquatch too?

      June 1, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Which God?

      @ EJ. Are you for real? Has this god stopped any wars? Healed the lame? Helped mankind rid the world of the diseases it allows to kill its creations, including innocent animals it has (supposedely) placed on the earth? How many have died praying to it for real ansolutions to humankinds problems, without nary a word, sign from it? You are a delusional fool.

      June 1, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      Guys, I hate do disappoint all of you, but this is about man and politics, not God. The Roman Catholic Church has always tried to control the press about itself. It used to do a real good job of that in majority Catholic countries, too! Unfortunately for the Church, they still believe the tactics that were successful in the 16th century still work in the 21st century. Karol Wojtyla started out as a great Pope before Josef Ratzinger was appointed as Chief of the Inquisition and made the Pope see Heresy in every piece of dissent. Now Ratzinger holds the Papal Throne, and shows more in common with Emperor Palpatine than with Pope John XXIII or Paul VI.

      June 1, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • wolfpackbob

      Atheists who KNOW that there is no God are no better than theists who KNOW there is a God. Neither can PROVE their position 100%. Far better to be either a theist or atheist who acknowledge their faith in the UNKNOWN and to allow for a civil discourse as well as a tolerance to agree to disagree. You will not find much of that civility here.

      June 1, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • gary

      delusions can see so real ...like feeling god, etc. If he existed outside of our universe, he could have no effect on this universe. God is pretend, just myth. NO reason to belive in one. It's all ancient myth from the middle east (whacko land) 2000 yrs ago.

      June 1, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • gary

      psst ... god is pretend ... just a myth from a primitive land in primitive times

      June 1, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • Crazyhorse

      Same 'ol, same 'ol folks who know nothing about Catholics, bashing without regard. Enjoy the pinata given to you by CNN.

      June 2, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • leslee

      The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

      June 3, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
  7. hippypoet

    wow......popes don't resign! they die in office! don't they have any love of tradition....being the catholic church i find the idea of him resigning rather odd and a bit stupid to consider as the pope is after all god's ear piece on earth and is also never wrong....according to the church that is....i personally find the whole thing a perfect example of the lengths some go to be told that they are normal and good and that at least someone loves them........i have an idea for the next 1000 years or so, lets all try thinking instead of taking someone elses story on faith – just a thought. 🙂

    besides, since no one has proved this god creature to truly exist the idea of caring about this one person as if he matters or even has a point to exist is beyond me and further proves the willingness of the ma$ses to be sheep instead of shepards!

    May 31, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • Bob

      Great post, hippypoet.

      June 1, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • EJ

      You are correct in some respects but wrong in others. You are wrong in that Christianity is all about creating "sheep" out of people. People are already "sheep" and they require a shepherd. It just is not the Pope, it is Jesus Christ. Accurate reading of the Bible leaves one with the clear concept that the Church is not to be a reflection of any organization found in the human world. The Pope is in effect a religious CEO with a Board of Directors. God did not authorize this sort of hierarchy in His Church. Dramatically transformed lives are evidence that God is real and that He is continually active in His created universe.

      June 1, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • BE THERE

      EJ...excellent response and true!!

      June 1, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Wrath of Crom

      Retarded statement – "dramatically transformed lives are evidence that god is real.."
      All that is evidence of is that people have free will to change, have a mind of there own to make positive progress rather than negative. Outright poposterous that a god had to have had sway on a positive outcome. If your statement was even remotely true (which it is not) your god would also be responsible for all negative and bad outcomes, thus making him good and evil.

      June 1, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Which God?

      Or get assinated by other wanna be popes.

      June 1, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      The last Pope to actually resign was Gregory XII in 1415. While JP II supposedly wrote a letter of resignation if faced with an incurable illness, but apparently he didn't consider the dementia that resulted from his Parkinson's disease to be reason enough.

      June 1, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Crazyhorse

      EJ, Jesus gave Peter the keys and the power to bind/loosen. Right out of the New Testament.

      June 2, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • leslee

      The pope is an evil office, created by men and certainly not revered by God. Infallible my hiney...

      Catholics are being led astray by their b.s. "religion". READ YOUR BIBLE AND ALLOW THE HOLY SPIRIT TO GUIDE YOU!

      June 3, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
  8. Kebos

    Authoritarians and dictators don't resign. Nor do they ever do anything wrong.

    May 31, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
  9. 0BS3RVER

    Resign you du m b f uxk i f xing hate anything that has to do with Catholicism. pious S.O.B live in the fuxing real world

    May 31, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
  10. doctore0

    The Vatican/Catholic church, should just be one crazy guy living with his mother.... this just got out of hand

    May 31, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  11. Chief Inspector Dreyfus

    The butler did it? Did the Vatican hire Clouseau to crack this case for them or something?

    May 31, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • Which God?

      The "Pink Panther" solved it.

      June 1, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  12. *frank*

    All these thieving, lying, woman-hating, life-negating, childhood-ruining vermin should have been shot in the head and tossed in the Mediterranean long ago.

    May 31, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • billsf

      Haha-you're being way too polite!

      May 31, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      Talk to the English. They have experience at it.

      May 31, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
  13. Reality

    The oblivion ball is rolling and no pope, imam, rabbi or minister will be able to stop it:

    Recognizing the flaws, follies and frauds in the foundations of Islam, Judaism and Christianity, the "bowers", kneelers" and "pew peasants" are converging these religions into some simple rules of life. No koran, bible, clerics, nuns, monks, imams, evangelicals, ayatollahs, rabbis, professors of religion or priests needed or desired.

    Ditto for houses of "worthless worship" aka mosques, churches, basilicas, cathedrals, temples and synagogues.

    May 31, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • thetruth

      The atheist that seriously believes his philosophy and follows it to its natural end sees that its fruit is death and suffering. Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, and Hitler (and no, he was not a Christian) are prime examples. Even Nietzsche with his "nihilism" eventually went insane following his athiestic ideas to their natural conclusion. Of course all atheists are not like the above mentioned ruthless murderers, but the philosphy of atheism breeds these type of people!

      To speak of good, evil, right, wrong, etc., implies the existence of a creator. Otherwise, where do these values come from? certainly not from relativism, the belief of most atheists, and unfortunately, some religious as well.

      I wish atheists would stop borrowing the truths of religion to try to argue that religion is invalid. It is self-contradicgtory by nature.

      May 31, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • copy and paste troll is fail

      he tries but he is a fail

      May 31, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Woody

      "......good, evil, right, wrong, etc., implies the existence of a creator. Otherwise, where do these values come from?" – thetruth.

      These values come from basic human decency. If a person needs the fear of eternal punishment by a make believe god to deter them from killing, stealing or any other sort of malevolence, they are not decent human beings to begin with. And if your god was, in fact real, he/she/it would be able to see right through your act. People who do no harm, simply because they fear retribution by some sky fairy, are truly pathetic individuals.

      May 31, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • Reality

      Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are either agnostics or atheists depending on what biographies are read.

      And let us not forget that special prayer:

      The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
      and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      (references used are available upon request)

      June 1, 2012 at 12:31 am |
    • Bob

      Good job, Reality. Keep it up. TheLies' comment above about your post as usual conveniently ignores the critical point that crimes done by Stalin et al were not done under any guidance of atheism, whereas the guidance to do the many atrocities that Christians have done can be found in the many horrific instructions "from god" presented in the Christian book of nasty AKA the bible.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.

      June 1, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • derp

      "and Hitler (and no, he was not a Christian)"

      Hmmmm, Hitler seems to disagree with you on that.

      “Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”

      "My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter"

      "In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison"

      "As a Christian I have no duty to allow my self to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice"

      "For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people"

      June 1, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Reality

      "The allegation is sometimes made that Hitler was a Catholic – a Christian until the day he died. This claim is based upon the fact that Hitler was born and raised in a Catholic family.

      However, as an adult, Hitler specifically rejected the Catholic Church, as well as Christianity in general. He described himself as "a complete pagan".

      The book Hitler's Secret Conversations: 1941-1944, published by Farrar, Straus and Young, Inc. (1953), contains definitive proof of Hitler's real views. The book was published in Britain under the t-itle, Hitler's Table Talk: 1941-1944, which ti-tle was used for the Oxford University Press paperback edition in the United States.

      Some excerpts:

      All of these are quotes from Adolf Hitler:

      Night of 11th-12th July, 1941:

      "National Socialism and religion cannot exist together.... The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity's illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew. The deliberate lie in the matter of religion was introduced into the world by Christianity.... Let it not be said that Christianity brought man the life of the soul, for that evolution was in the natural order of things. (p 6 & 7) "

      10th October, 1941, midday:

      "Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure. (p 43)"

      June 1, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • Bascombe

      Reality, that book is not considered factual and is not referenced by professionals as it is all hearsay and at odds with everything Hitler himself wrote. You must be desperate to grasp at that straw.

      June 3, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Reality

      And what happened to the "Christian" Hitler. See below for the answer plus the body counts from other bloody historic events:

      The Twenty (or so) Worst Things People Have Done to Each Other:

      M. White, http://necrometrics.com/warstatz.htm#u (required reading)

      The Muslim Conquest of India

      "The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      Rank …..Death Toll ..Cause …..Centuries……..(Religions/Groups involved)*

      1. 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists/atheists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan-"Hitlers" and "Shintoists")

      2. 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)

      3. 40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)

      4. 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)

      5. 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)

      6. 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)

      7. 20 million Joseph Stalin 20C (Communism)

      8. 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)

      9. 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C

      10. 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)

      11. 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)

      12. 15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians vs. Pagans)

      13. 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C

      14. 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C

      15. 10 million Xin Dynasty 1C

      16. 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)

      17. 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans vs. Pagans)

      18. 8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians)

      19. 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)

      20. 7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

      *:" Is religion responsible for more violent deaths than any other cause?

      A: No, of course not – unless you define religion so broadly as to be meaningless. Just take the four deadliest events of the 20th Century – Two World Wars, Red China and the Soviet Union – no religious motivation there, unless you consider every belief system to be a religion."

      Q: So, what you're saying is that religion has never killed anyone.

      A: Arrgh... You all-or-nothing people drive me crazy. There are many doc-umented examples where members of one religion try to exterminate the members of another religion. Causation is always complex, but if the only difference between two warring groups is religion, then that certainly sounds like a religious conflict to me. Is it the number one cause of mass homicide in human history? No. Of the 22 worst episodes of mass killing, maybe four were primarily religious. Is that a lot? Well, it's more than the number of wars fought over soccer, or s-ex (The Trojan and Sabine Wars don't even make the list.), but less than the number fought over land, money, glory or prestige.

      In my Index, I list 41 religious conflicts compared with 27 oppressions under "Communism", 24 under Colonialism, 2 under "Railroads" and 2 under "Scapegoats". Make of that what you will."

      June 4, 2012 at 12:12 am |
  14. biggal195

    Julian Assange always says the best way to keep a secret is not to have one in the first place. He definitely has a point. Our government learned it. Now it looks as though even the Vatican is learning it.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  15. Wrath of Crom

    "...baseless creations of some journalists, which have no foundation in reality".
    Sounds like he is describing the myth of one "God", LOL! How ironic...

    May 31, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • rocketscientist

      Uh, no, it doesn't sound like that at all.

      May 31, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Jimmy G.

      "rocketscientist"? Yeah right. What sort of idiot says he's a rocket scientist in an anonymous blog? A liar, that's who.

      May 31, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      "...baseless creations of some journalists, which have no foundation in reality".
      Absolutely true. Sounds like someone that doesn't understand being Pope is a lifetime job.

      May 31, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • rocketscientist

      Actually, Jim, I'm telling the truth. I've got a PhD in AE and work on rockets and satellites (mainly propulsionand trajectories). My wife suggested years ago that I use "rocketscientist" as a username. I decided to humor her, because I never liked being introduced as a "rocketscientist."

      But if it makes you happy calling me a liar, someone you don't even know, who has done and said absolutely nothing to you, go ahead. All it does is make you look bad, not me.

      Dr. H

      May 31, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • Lol

      Propulsion AND trajectories, huh?
      We believe you. Really.

      May 31, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Wrath of Crom

      Sounds just like someone describing religion. "baseless creation...no foundation in reality. Pretty simple. Thought a "rocketscientist" could get it. Apparently not.

      May 31, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • rocketscientist

      I got it just fine, Crom (fan of Robert Howard? ). I just didn't care for the motivation.

      May 31, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • Wrath of Crom

      Ah, you don't like the fact their is absolutely no definitive evidence for claim of any god. Odd stance coming from a scientist. Not my problem however. Facts are facts. The bible is fiction and god does not exist.

      June 1, 2012 at 10:39 am |
  16. Popeferatu Vampira XVI

    Of course I am not going to resign! If I did, I would not be able to wear the pointy hat and the cool dresses!

    May 31, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  17. Ecclesiastes 7:17

    Heck...has anything about this story yet reveal anything "shocking" or illegal beyond the butler being the one to really do something illegal?

    May 31, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • ernestly

      Well if you consider the vatican laundering money for the mob shocking – then yes. Of course if you didn't think it was shocking to find priests serially molesting young male adherents, or that the current pope fought for nazi germany, maybe this newest development won't phase you either.

      May 31, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • rocketscientist

      Sadly, as a Catholic, I'm not shocked by any of this at all. This is all very much in line with all that I've read about the Vatican Curia.

      May 31, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Think About It

      Then Rocket, if I can ask, why are you still a Catholic? Why are you still aligned with a religion whose upper clergy regularly engages in obviously sleazy politics? Why are you still aligned with a religion whose behavior in the priest pedophilia scandal was nothing short of abominable?

      By being Catholic, you are obeying the edicts of these very same people, these slithering politicals weasels. Why?

      May 31, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • ME II

      "...the current pope fought for nazi germany..."

      Really? fought?

      May 31, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Yerevan

      Yes, fought. Anti-aircraft crew 1943, last ditch infantry 1945. Probably did not see much action in 1945 before he ran away.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.