Vatican cardinal resigns from his post amid £180m financial scandal

Nellie Chapman
September 27, 2020

A powerful Vatican cardinal has suddenly resigned amid a financial scandal that has reportedly implicated him indirectly. Becciu asked, indicating that the money was paid to the local branch of Catholic charity Caritas. On the other hand, he said, "I may have made a mistake out of too much love for my diocese, but I don't see the crime. I don't know if I am under investigation, but I they are going to send me to trial I will defend myself", he said.

The relinquishing of that right indicated that the reason for Becciu's resignation was particularly serious. But Becciu said the London investment didn't even come up Thursday; instead, he said the issue that forced his removal was the allegation of embezzlement, which was first reported by the L'Espresso news magazine Friday. "He (the pope) was suffering when he told me".

"It's a blow for me, my family, the people of my country".

"I promised him loyalty until the end, and when I became a cardinal I promised I'd give my life for the church and the pope", he said. But I am innocent and I will prove it.

© Provided by Associated Press Cardinal Angelo Becciu talks to journalists during press conference in Rome, Friday, Sept. 25, 2020.

The last cardinal to renounce their rights was Theodore McCarrick, the former Archbishop of Washington DC, who did so in 2018 after being investigated for sexual abuse before later being defrocked.

At 72, Mr Becciu would have been able to participate in a possible future conclave to elect the Francis's successor.

It's the first time that a cardinal has given up that right for nearly seven years.

The Vatican provided no details on why Pope Francis accepted the resignation.

Cardinal Becciu was until 2018 deputy secretary of state, one of the most powerful positions in the Vatican.

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Something unusual has happened in the Vatican: a cardinal has resigned.

Financial problems since 2014 when the Vatican embarked on a real estate venture by investing $ 200 million in funds run by an Italian businessman.

Becky defended the excellent nature of the original investment and denied any wrongdoing, and it is unclear whether the scandal was behind his resignation or prompted a separate investigation.

Earlier this year the Vatican arrested and charged Gianluigi Torzi, a London-based businessman who acted as a middleman in the complex United Kingdom property deal, for what it said was "extortion, embezzlement, aggravated fraud and self laundering". He was released on bail a few days later. The deal has since been the subject of a financial investigation.

"He asked me to give up the privileges of being a cardinal", Besiu added.

The pope said he authorized the October raid after speaking with the Vatican prosecutor.

After meeting with the pope, Becciu said, he called his brother and learned that the funds in question were still unspent, as they were being reserved for a large planned project.

Cardinal Becciu was born June 2, 1948, in Sardinia and ordained to the priesthood in 1972 for the Diocese of Ozieri.

This pressure will have increased exponentially if Italian prosecutors plan to bring charges of their own: the Vatican simply can not risk appearing to have shied away from bringing a case if the Italian courts get involved.

In 2001, St. John Paul II named him an archbishop and apostolic nuncio to Angola and to Sao Tome and Principe.

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