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Pope Benedict XVI butler pleads innocent to charges

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI's butler has said he is innocent of charges of stealing the pope's private correspondence but acknowledged he feels guilty of betraying the trust of the pontiff, whom he said he loved like a father.

Paolo Gabriele took the stand Tuesday in a Vatican courtroom to defend himself against a charge of aggravated theft. Prosecutors say Gabriele stole papal letters and documents alleging power struggles and corruption and passed them off to a journalist in one of the most damaging scandals of Benedict's pontificate.

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