Vatican City, Italy -- Pope Benedict's onetime butler says he's innocent of a charge of aggravated theft of the pope's private correspondence, but admits that he photocopied the papers and regrets betraying the trust of the pontiff he loves like a father.
Paolo Gabriele took the stand Tuesday in a Vatican courtroom to defend himself against accusations of his role in one of the most damaging scandals of Benedict's pontificate. Prosecutors say Gabriele stole the pope's letters and documents alleging power struggles and corruption inside the Vatican and leaked them to a journalist in an unprecedented papal security breach.
Gabriele faces four years in prison if he's found guilty, but most Vatican watchers expect he'll receive a papal pardon if he's convicted.
Prosecutors have said Gabriele confessed to leaking copies of the documents to an Italian journalist because he wanted to expose "evil and corruption" in the church. They quoted him as saying he felt inspired by the Holy Spirit "to bring the church back on the right track."