Rome: The Vatican police have arrested Pope Benedict XVI`s household butler, Paolo Gabriele, in a case of recent leaks of personal papal correspondence that has thrown unwanted light on power struggles and alleged corruption within the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said on Friday that the internal police had detained Gabriele who worked in the Vatican on suspicion of stealing and leaking private documents belonging to Pope Benedict XVI.
Gabriele was identified as the suspect by various Italian news reports, which claimed that since he was a personal servant of Pope Benedict, he would have had direct access to his belongings.
Benedict said he was `saddened and struck` by the news of the arrest, The LA Times reports.
The arrest followed several months of revelations of letters to the pope and others, written by various figures that indicate conflict among the factions within Vatican City`s massive walls.
Journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi had reproduced the documents that refer to suspected corruption and misuse of funds in Vatican City management, as well as conflicting views on efforts to clean up the Vatican bank in a book titled `Sua Santita: Le Carte Segrete di Benedetto XVI` (`His Holiness: The Secret Papers of Benedict XVI`).
But Nuzzi refused to reveal whether Gabriele, the butler was the person who passed him copies of the documents.