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.
The Vatican has said confidential documents were found in Gabriele’s apartment in Vatican territory.
But Lombardi said Wednesday that media reports that said packets of documents, prepared for sending to specific people, were found in Gabriele’s home were unfounded. Material found in Gabriele’s possession is being studied and catalogued, he said.
“It seems to me,” Lombardi said, “that there is a line of desire for truth and clarity, a desire for transparency that, although it will take time, continues forward. I thus honestly believe that we are trying to handle this new situation: We are seeking the truth and trying to objectively understand what may have happened.”
The investigation, he said, is still in its preliminary stages. [More]