VATICAN CITY — A painful and damaging chapter in Pope Benedict XVI's papacy closed Saturday with the conviction of his former butler on charges he stole the pope's private letters and leaked them to a journalist.
But questions remain as to whether anyone else was involved in the plot, and when the pope will pardon his once-trusted aide.
Paolo Gabriele stood stone-faced as Judge Giuseppe Dalla Torre read the conviction and sentenced him to 18 months in prison for the gravest Vatican security breach in recent memory.
The decision capped a weeklong trial in which the pope's closest adviser, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, and a half dozen Vatican police officers testify about a betrayal of the pope that exposed an unseemly side of the Catholic Church's governance.
Gabriele was accused of stealing the pope's private correspondence and passing it on to journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, whose book revealed intrigue, infighting and allegations of corruption and homosexual liaisons that plague the Vatican.