Cardinal resigns for using donations to buy London flat

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He Pope Francisco has imposed the resignation of the Cardinal Angelo Becciu as the Vatican’s “minister” of the Congregation of Saints, also known as the church’s “factory of saints”. It is the first time that such a resignation has taken place in the recent history of the Catholic Church.

The news was released on Thursday at eight o’clock in the afternoon, a rather unusual time for press releases from the Holy See. He cardinal, who has been stripped of all the prerogatives of the position, including his participation in a future Conclave and his permanence in the organization chart of the Secretary of State, would have diverted funds of the Obolo of San Pedro, the donations that the Catholic faithful give to the Pope for their survival and that of the Church, to to buy a property in London.

Becciu had been the Number Three of the Vatican (2011-2018), a kind of Minister of the Interior, after the Pope and the Secretary of State, depositary of the secret keys of communication of the Vatican with the peripheries of the Catholic Church.

Luxurious building

According to the most accredited reconstructions in the Vatican, the cardinal would have diverted funds from the Obolus of Saint Peter in favor of speculative funds and his relatives to buy a luxurious building in Sloane Avenue from the British capital by 160 million euros. Five other Vatican officials have been suspended from their posts for the same investigation carried out by the magistracy of the Papal State, among them Becciu’s personal secretary, Mauro Carlino.

The cardinal’s resignation has been forced after the Vatican magistracy conclude the investigations into the purchase of the London property, an acquisition made from a current account of the Vatican Secretariat of State, managed by Becciu. Only when the Pope Francisco imposed a full financial transparency it was possible to know who managed this account.

According to an investigation carried out by the weekly L’Espresso, which will go on sale this Sunday, Cardinal Becciu would have used to buy and sell some Vatican funds and the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), diverting a part of them to his brothers and vulture funds.

“Sadness”

“Today, December 24, the Holy Father has accepted the resignation of the position of the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and the rights linked to the cardinal, presented by His Enminence Cardinal Giovanni Becciu “, reads the press release issued at unusual hours. The measure has surprised the public. dome of catholicism and to the same interested party, who has privately expressed his “sadness” over the epilogue of the case.

Different measures but with the same effect of suppressing all the prerogatives of a cardinal were taken by Francis in 2015, when the Pope accepted the resignation of the cardenal Keith Michael Patrick O’Brien, considered “annoying” in the field of sexual abuse.

Theodore McCarrick, to whom Francis not only suppressed the honor of the cardinal but reduced him to a simple layman because of his crimes of pedophilia. You have to go back to the beginning of the last century (1927) to find a similar case.

He london real estate it would have been bought by the Vatican for 200 million euros, of which 140 million were for the purchase and 60 million to invest. However, at the end of the operation the price would have risen to 300 million, which according to a statement issued by the Vatican regarding the arrest of Gianluigi Torzi, an investor from the British capital, who is accused of several episodes of extortion, embezzlement, serious fraud and money laundering, crimes for which Vatican law provides penalties of up to 12 years in prison. “Torzi, currently detained in the Vatican, would have appropriated 10 million euros. Ultimately, the Vatican would have bought the property, but not he could dispose of it, because of the intermediaries who prevented him to profit from the operation.

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