Msgr. Angelo Vallejo Balda, who was convicted in July for his role in the “Vatileaks II” scandal, has received a “conditional pardon” from Pope Francis and been released from prison.
Msgr. Vallejo Balda, who had served as the secretary of the
Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, was sentenced by a
Vatican tribunal to serve eighteen months in prison.
He had admitted to
making secret Vatican documents available to reporters—although he said
he had acted under pressure.
The Vatican announced on December 20 that Pope Francis had decided,
just days before Christmas, to grant Msgr. Vallejo Balda’s release from
confinement at the Vatican. He will be barred from further employment at
the Vatican, but will be available for service in his home diocese of
“The penalty is not settled, but he has the benefit of
parole,” the Vatican explained.
Msgr. Vallejo Balda had written to Pope Francis several months ago,
requesting a pardon for his crime. He had hoped that the pardon might be
granted as a gesture during the Year of Mercy.
In 2012, Pope Benedict
XVI had pardoned his valet, Paolo Gabriele, who had also been sentenced
to an 18-month prison term after his conviction for a similar crime in
the first “Vatileaks” case.