Vatican children’s hospital president guilty

The former president of the Vatican children’s hospital has been convicted of abuse of office for diverting money from the hospital to pay for renovations to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone’s apartment.

Bertone is the Vatican’s former secretary of state.

A Vatican court has convicted the former president of the Pope’s children’s hospital of diverting about NZ$676,000 in donations to renovate the cardinal’s flat.

Although he was originally charged with embezzelment, Giuseppe Profiti was convicted of a lesser offence – abuse of office – after his defence argued the money was intended as an investment to benefit the hospital.

Profiti was given a one-year suspended sentence.

The hospital’s treasurer, Massimo Spina was acquitted.

News sources have noticed neither the cardinal who benefited from the renovation, nor the contractor who was apparently paid twice for doing the work, was charged.

During the trial, the cardinal was shown to have personally invited Gianantonio Bandera, whom he knew, to do the renovation work.

The trial also showed that Bertone’s project did not go through the normal external bidding process.

While Bertone paid about NZ$500,000 himself, the hospital also paid Bandera’s firm.

News sources also noted the trial showed Bertone “bent rules to get his retirement apartment ready after Pope Francis was elected in 2013 and  named a new secretary of state”.

Bertone was removed from office in 2013, eight months after Francis was elected. The renovation on his apartment started a few weeks later.


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