Allegations mount against Vatican’s Cardinal Angelo Becciu

A new probe into Vatican finances coincided with the resignation of Cardinal Angelo Becciu (pictured) last week.

His resignation followed an unscheduled meeting with the pope. Francis told him he had lost his trust and ordered him to step down.

News of Becciu’s resignation was followed by reports that Italian businessman Gianluigi Torzi has provided detailed information to investigators in the ongoing Vatican financial scandal.

Torzi was arrested by Vatican investigators in June and charged with “extortion, embezzlement, aggravated fraud and self-laundering,”.

After his arrest, he spent three days with Vatican authorities, walking them through details of the case.

Italian authorities are now helping to track several hundred million euros of Vatican funds.

Francis has also appointed an Italian lawyer and professor of commercial law to work as an additional prosecutor in the Vatican City State’s court.

The new appointment is fueling expectation that Becciu and several of his former colleagues at the Secretariat of State could face criminal prosecution in Vatican City.

It has also been reported that a brewing company owned by Becciu’s brother Mario, received a 1.5 million euro loan.

The loan was provided by Angolan businessman Antonio Mosquito, who has links with the Cardinal and the Secretariat of State.

Cardinal Angelo Becciu served as apostolic nuncio to the African nation from 2001-2009.

In 2012, having moved to Rome as sostituto of the Secretariat of State, he was involved in the secretariat’s consideration of a reported $200 million investment in Mosquito’s company Falcon Oil. He served in that role for nearly 10 years.

He was made a cardinal and placed in charge of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in 2018.

After vetting the deal for a year, the secretariat decided instead to invest the money with Italian businessman Raffaele Mincione.

That decision led to the controversial purchase of a London building – and which kicked off the current investigation.

Becciu says the money was intended to help children with autism.

The following morning, a story accusing Becciu of using his positions in the curia to funnel money to members of his own family was published.

Becciu’s resignation followed more than a year of reporting about various financial scandals involving Becciu and the Holy See’s Secretariat of State.

Many of these reports stemmed from the Secretariat’s investments through Italian businessman Raffaele Mincione, an associate of Torzi’s, including the purchase from him of the London property for hundreds of millions of dollars.

Italian police served a search and seizure warrant on Mincione in July, issued at the request of Vatican prosecutors.

Investigators took away cell phones and tablets for examination in relation to the case.

Mincione has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Lawyers for the Becciu family have lodged official complaints for the “slander and aggravated defamation” of their clients and for “illegal leakage of confidential information and documents” to media.

Since October 2019, investigators in Vatican City have raided several Vatican departments in connection with the London property deal and investments.

Computers and phones were seized and several staff members were suspended.


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