The following details are from media reports this last week:
An important, but not the primary, consequence of the stunning sacking of Cardinal Angelo Becciu is that it completes on the Vatican side what was accomplished by the Australian High Court in April, namely the complete vindication of Cardinal George Pell.
As Cardinal Pell arrives in Rome this week after three years in Australia, the counterpoint between the cardinal’s return and Cardinal Becciu’s fall is worthy of a novel.
“The Holy Father was elected to clean up Vatican finances … and is to be thanked and congratulated on recent developments,” Cardinal Pell stated in reference to his brother cardinal’s dismissal. “I hope the cleaning of the stables continues in both the Vatican and Victoria [Australia].”
According to Corriere della Sera, Monsignor Alberto Perlasca, who worked with Becciu in the Secretariat of State, started cooperating with Vatican investigators looking into financial misconduct within the Holy See’s institutions.
Perlasca argued, the newspaper wrote, that “Becciu has used some journalists and other sources to discredit his enemies in recent years.”
“And it is precisely in this vein that the payment in Australia would have been made, possibly in connection with Pell’s trial,” Corriere della Sera commented.
The saga of Vatican financial corruption took an extraordinary turn last night, when Italian newspaper Il Messaggero quoted the former right-hand man to disgraced Cardinal Angelo Becciu claiming a bank transfer of 700,000 euros was made from the Vatican to a bank in Australia.
The article quotes Monsignor Alberto Perlasca as claiming the transfer was made at the same time that the child-abuse case against Cardinal George Pell was developing in Australia.
Monsignor Perlasca worked closely with Cardinal Becciu when the latter was second in charge at the Vatican’s Secretariat of State.
A senior Catholic cardinal has been accused of using €700,000 ($1.14m) of Vatican funds to bribe witnesses to secure a sex abuse conviction against a rival.
Italian media have reported that Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, 72, is suspected of wiring the cash to recipients in Australia who helped to ensure hostile testimony in the abuse trial of Cardinal George Pell, who was accused of molesting choir boys in Melbourne in the 1990s…
Quoting leaked documents, the Italian newspapers La Repubblica and Corriere della Sera reported at the weekend that Vatican investigators suspect that Cardinal Becciu hoped to use the money to definitively derail Cardinal Pell’s transparency program, which threatened to expose Cardinal Becciu’s allegedly corrupt management of Vatican cash.
Cardinal Becciu used “journalists and contacts to discredit his enemies”, according to the Corriere della Sera report.
“It is precisely in this vein that the payment in Australia would have been made, possibly in connection with Pell’s trial,” the article claimed…
The former choirboy who accused George Pell of abusing him in the 1990s has denied knowing anything about Vatican bribes allegedly paid to witnesses against Pell.
The man, known during Pell’s trial as Witness J, spoke out after sensational reports that $1.1 million was sent to Australia to build a case against Pell.
He was one of two choirboys Pell was convicted of sexually assaulting before the convictions were overturned following a High Court appeal.
The reports in Italian newspapers do not name Witness J.
“My client denies any knowledge or receipt of any payments. He won’t be commenting further in response to these allegations,” his lawyer Dr Vivian Waller said today…
News Corp Australia understands that Pell was encouraged to return because of his knowledge of the Vatican’s financial systems, having served as its former Treasurer.
A source close to Cardinal Pell said that the Pope himself had made the request for Pell and that he was expected to be at the Vatican for a lengthy period…
Pell said last week after the Pope sacked Becciu that the pontiff played a “long game.”
“The Holy Father was elected to clean up Vatican finances. He plays a long game and is to be thanked and congratulated on recent developments,” he said.
“I hope the cleaning of the stables continues in both the Vatican and Victoria.”