Vatican probes funding of cardinal’s apartment

The Vatican has launched an investigation into the funding of the restoration of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone’s apartment while he was Vatican secretary of state.

Greg Burke, assistant director of the Vatican press office, said two executives from Rome’s Bambino Gesu Children’s Hospital – former chairman Giuseppe Profiti and former treasurer Massimo Spina – are being investigated.

Profiti and Spina allegedly misappropriated hospital funds to pay for the restoration of Bertone’s apartment.

Burke said Cardinal Bertone, who was secretary of state from 2006 to 2013 and briefly in charge of the Holy See and its administration when Pope Benedict XVI resigned in 2013, was not under investigation.

In his book “Greed,” journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi alleged that the cost of renovation was funneled through a London-based holding company run by Bertone’s personal friend.

“The money destined for sick children was in actuality used for the renovations and then sent on to London,” Fittipaldi wrote. “Bertone’s name is not cited in the magistrates’ document but the Holy See will find it hard to overlook his direct involvement in the scandal.”

Bertone says he can prove he paid around $340,000 for the work out of his own pocket, but the foundation that raises money for the Vatican-owned Bambino Gesu children’s hospital apparently also paid $455,000.

The massive-for-Rome apartment is being floored with 2,400 square feet of expensive herringbone oak parquet which cost the cardinal and the hospital $28,000.

A smaller 750-square-foot area is being covered with luxury white Carrara marble at a price tag of $11,000. The double-glaze energy efficient windows cost $80,000 and the front security door is priced at $6,000.


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