Did you just get a Mardi Gras image from that job description, like I did? Picturing the Popemobile, with the butler tossing out rosaries?
Anyway, the butler, Paolo Gabriele, 46, is one of the few individuals who has access to the Pope's desk, and there have been leaks of "hundreds of personal letters and confidential documents" to a journalist who published them in a book called "His Holiness."
It seems absurd that the butler did it. Here's a Straight Dope inquiry into the old phrase, supposedly based on hackneyed mystery novel plots.
You hear that? It's too easy. Look for a decidedly worth-while person — one that wouldn't ordinarily come under suspicion. Hmmm.
The expression "the butler did it" is commonly attributed to novelist Mary Roberts Rinehart (1876-1958), who wrote dozens of popular books, starting with The Circular Staircase in 1908. In 1930 she published The Door, in which — I'm sorry if this ruins the suspense for you — the butler does it. But the words "the butler did it" do not appear in the book, as far as I can tell — I confess I skimmed — and Rinehart was hardly the first crime writer to implicate a menial...
[C]rime-fiction writers of the day tended to think that casting one of the hired help as the culprit was cheating. (That is, it was only OK for the butler to be suspected of doing it.) In his 1928 essay "Twenty Rules for Writing Detective Stories" (the source of rule number seven above — you thought I was making this up?), S.S. Van Dine spells this out in rule eleven: "A servant must not be chosen by the author as the culprit. This is begging a noble question. It is a too easy solution. The culprit must be a decidedly worth-while person — one that wouldn't ordinarily come under suspicion." Noting the blithe classism in this suggestion, we return to the Oxford Companion: "Because the butler can move about the house in the course of his duties with complete freedom and because he is so taken for granted by the other characters that no one pays attention to him, he makes an ideal culprit."
You see the divide here. Too easy! say fans of the ten-people-in-a-country-house subgenre. Perfect! say slightly more adventurous writers, and indeed, having the butler do it seems like a great opportunity to inject the resentments of the proletariat into the genteel world of Hercule Poirot and his ilk.