Archbishop ‘waging a war’ against me: Vatican defendant

A woman on trial at the Vatican over the alleged leaking of secret documents has accused a high-ranking Vatican official of “waging a war against her”.

Francesca Chaouqui said this during testimony at the trial of five defendants, including herself, at the Vatican.

Ms Chaouqui, a public relations expert who used to work at the Vatican, wrote further about the matter on her Facebook page.

She was writing about Italian Archbishop Angelo Giovanni Becciu, the number two official at the Vatican’s Secretariat of State.

Ms Chaouqui wrote that the archbishop has staked his credibility on her going to prison, so she’ll be “condemned without evidence”.

She also wrote that she’s “not afraid of four feet of pure evil”, in reference to Archbishop Becciu’s diminutive height, and that she stands by her accusations.

Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi, SJ, stated in response:  “It has become necessary — without desiring in any way to condition the action of the Court — to deny, in a most absolute way, such accusations and to state that, since they are calumnious affirmations, they are absolutely unacceptable, and subject to legal action”.

Ms Chauoqui responded on Facebook that “the calumny and unacceptable thing is what the Vatican, in the figure of the substitute, is doing against me”.

Archbishop Becciu’s post is referred to as the “substitute” because he acts on behalf of the Cardinal Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

Ms Chaouqui wrote of a “dossier of lies” about her which, she stated, Archbishop Becciu received when she was hired by the Vatican three years ago.

She claimed the dossier was leaked to the press by the archbishop.

She also claimed Archbishop Becciu repeatedly called investigators during the questioning of her after her initial arrest nine months ago.

Last week, a police witness told the Vatican tribunal that, during questioning, Ms Chaouqui had admitted leaking confidential documents.

Ms Chaouqui, who is nine months pregnant, subsequently insisted she was not involved in leaking the documents.


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