International News

Monsignor Begins Term at Vatican Prison

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – A Spanish monsignor found guilty of leaking confidential documents about the Vatican’s financial reform has begun serving his 18-month prison sentence at the Vatican.

Msgr. Lucio Vallejo Balda, secretary of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, was found guilty of stealing and passing on documents to Italian journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi.

In accordance with Vatican law, the prosecution had 40 days to contest the sentence, which had been considerably reduced from its original request.

Following the court’s ruling, Msgr. Vallejo Balda was allowed limited freedom of movement within the confines of Vatican City State. However, he was formally arrested Aug. 22 by Vatican police and placed in a prison cell to begin his sentence.

The cell is located in the building of the Gendarme Corps of Vatican City State, as the Vatican police force is formally known. It is presumed to be the same cell prepared for Paolo Gabriele, the former papal butler who leaked reserved papal correspondence in 2012. Gabriele was pardoned by Pope Benedict XVI after serving less than three months.

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