Documents seized from office managing St. Peter’s as Pope Francis appoints commissioner

Vatican City, Jun 30, 2020 / 04:35 am (CNA).- Pope Francis has appointed a commissioner to reform the administration of the office responsible for the upkeep of St. Peter’s Basilica, where documents and computers were seized by order of judicial authorities June 30.

The decision to appoint a commissioner was made following a report by the Vatican’s auditor general, which is responsible for monitoring offices of the Roman Curia and Vatican City State for financial corruption.

According to a June 30 Vatican statement, retired nuncio Bishop Mario Giordana has been given the task of “updating the statutes, clarifying the administration and reorganizing the administrative and technical offices” of the Fabric of St. Peter.

Giordana will carry out “this delicate task” together with a commission, the statement continued.

The Fabric of St. Peter is the office which oversees the conservation and maintenance of St. Peter’s Basilica and the surrounding area. 

Giordana’s appointment was made after a report from the auditor general which also led to the seizure of documents and electronic devices from the Fabric of St. Peter’s technical and administrative offices on the morning of June 30, the Vatican said.

The Holy See statement noted that the actions also come in the wake of Pope Francis’ publication of new laws governing Vatican financial dealings, which set new standards for contracts awarded by the city state and curial departments. 

The new laws, published June 1, intend to inject transparency and fair competition into the process for awarding public contracts in order to fight corruption and control spending in the Vatican City State and Holy See.

Bishop Giordana, 78, retired in 2017 after more than 40 years in the diplomatic service of the Holy See. He is currently a member of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

He has a doctorate in canon law.  

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