The VatiLeaks scandal marred Benedict XVI’s last year as pope, embarrassed the church, exposed the dysfunction of the Vatican bureaucracy, and destroyed the career of the butler convicted for leaking the pontiff’s personals correspondence. But it has been very good for some Italians reporters and their publisher.
As the Vatican reeled and the pope’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, sat in jail, Gianluigi Nuzzi became something of a celebrity in Italy. As part of the roll-out for the English translation of his blockbuster book, “His Holiness: The Secret Papers of Pope Benedict XVI,” Nuzzi has appeared as the hero of a GQ story about his source the butler, and now writes for the Italian Vanity Fair. He has become a familiar Vatican pundit on Italian television and Twitter, where he often directs vitriol at Benedict’s number two, Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone.
On a recent afternoon, Nuzzi, dressed in a sharp black three-piece suit and three-quarter coat, arrived late to a panel discussion for a friend’s book about a predator priest in Rome. He carried a leather briefcase filled with documents in transparent plastic sleeves, had a mark across his cheek and a nick atop his glossed bald head.