Pope Francis Frees Whistleblower Priest Who Leaked Documents Revealing Corruption At Vatican

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The jailed priest who leaked official Vatican documents has been freed by Pope Francis.

The pontiff gave Spanish Monsignor Lucio Vallejo Balda a Christmas clemency after half of his 18-month sentence but the Vatican insisted “the penalty is not quashed”.

The priest, convicted in July, leaked papers cited in a book that alleged corruption in the heart of the Catholic Church.

The Vatican released a statement on Tuesday that said Pope Francis had granted “conditional freedom” to Balda.

“This is a clemency measure which allows him to regain his freedom. The penalty is not quashed.”

It added any professional ties to the Vatican had ended and the priest would now be under the authority of the Bishop of Astorga, in Spain.

The trial, known as Vatileaks II, came after the former Pope’s butler was jailed for 18 months in 2012 for stealing confidential documents from the pontiff’s desk in the first Vatileaks trial.

But he only served three months of his sentence before Pope Benedict visited him and pardoned him personally.

Two journalists, Emiliano Fittipaldi and Gianluigi Nuzzi, wrote the books based on leaks that exposed waste, financial mismanagement and corruption in the Church.

They were also charged but the Vatican court ruled they had no jurisdiction

The Vatican has two prison cells where it jails prisoners.

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