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Pope amid scandal stresses staff loyalty to him

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Stung by an in-house scandal, Pope Benedict XVI is stressing the need for loyalty among aides working for him at the Vatican and abroad.

He delivered the pep talk Monday to a group of prelates preparing to serve the Holy See abroad in diplomatic posts. Last month, the pope’s butler — an Italian layman with close access to papal correspondence and other Vatican documents — was arrested after a stash of papal documents was found in the aide’s Vatican City apartment. Vatican authorities have accused the butler of theft.

Benedict told the diplomats that those who work at the Holy See have serious responsibilities but also should have close trust with the pope. He also expressed gratitude for the assistance he receives daily from aides at the Vatican.

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