Pope Benedict XVI with Paolo Gabriele
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Pope Benedict XVI pardons ex-butler Gabriele

22 December 2012 Last updated at 18:48 GMT

Pope Benedict XVI has pardoned his former butler, Paolo Gabriele, who is serving an 18-month jail sentence for stealing confidential papers.

The Pope visited Gabriele in prison to personally inform him of the decision, the Vatican said in a statement.

In October the former butler was found guilty of stealing and copying the Pope's documents and leaking them to an Italian journalist.

Gabriele said he acted out of love for the Church.