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Vatican Cardinal Angelo Becciu resigns from office and ‘rights’ of cardinals

The cardinal worked previously as the number two-ranking official in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, and has been connected to an ongoing investigation of financial malfeasance at the secretariat.

Then-Cardinal-designate Giovanni Angelo Becciu, accepts a cake from Pope Francis aboard the pope's flight from Geneva to Rome June 21, 2018. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Cardinal Angelo Becciu, who until today was prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints, has resigned from that office and from the rights extended to members of the College of Cardinals.

The cardinal worked previously as the number two-ranking official in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, and has been connected to an ongoing investigation of financial malfeasance at the secretariat.

A statement from the Holy See press office Thursday said: “Today, Thursday, Sept. 24, the Holy Father accepted the resignation from the office of Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and related rights of the Cardinalate, presented by His Eminence Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu.”

Becciu remains technically a cardinal, and the Vatican’s announcement did not specifically delineate what rights Becciu has resigned. In 2015, Pope Francis accepted a similar renunciation from Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who in 2013 admitted to serial sexual misconduct. O’Brien did not subsequently attend public ecclesiastical events, and was ineligible to participate in a future papal conclave. The Vatican press office could not be reached for comment Thursday evening.

The cardinal himself has not yet responded to a request for comment from CNA.

The move was unexpected, and does not seem to have been long planned. Becciu had been scheduled to preside over the beatification of Ven. Carlo Acutis, which will take place in Assisi Oct. 10.

Becciu served as “sostituto,” or second-ranking official at the Secretariat of State, from 2011 to 2018, when Pope Francis named him a cardinal and moved him to the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints. During his tenure in that position, he was linked to a number of financial scandals, most recently the Secretariat’s investment of hundreds of millions of euros with the Italian businessman Rafaelle Mincione and the controversial purchase of a London building.

CNA has previously reported that a substantial part of the $200 million used to finance the Secretariat of State’s purchase of a luxury development at 60 Sloane Avenue came through credit extended by BSI, a Swiss bank with a long track record of violating money-laundering and fraud safeguards in its dealings with sovereign wealth funds.

CNA has also reported that in 2015 Becciu seemed to have made an attempt to disguise the loans on Vatican balance sheets by cancelling them out against the value of the property purchased in the London neighborhood of Chelsea, an accounting maneuver prohibited by new financial policies approved by Pope Francis in 2014.

The alleged attempt to hide the loans off-books was detected by the Prefecture for the Economy, then led by Cardinal George Pell. Senior officials at the Prefecture for the Economy told CNA that when Pell began to demand details of the loans, especially those involving BSI, then-Archbishop Becciu called the cardinal in to the Secretariat of State for a “reprimand.”

Becciu has previously defended the London investment as “accepted practice,” despite Vatican prosecutors staging raids on the offices of several of Becciu’s closest collaborators in the Secretariat, and despite the arrest of one of the businessmen involved.

CNA has also reported that Becciu was involved in a complicated series of events and financial transactions around the purchase of the Istituto Dermopatico dell’Immacolata (IDI), an Italian hospital that collapsed in 2013 under 800 million euros of debt through theft and fraud.

In 2016, Becciu was instrumental in bringing to a halt Vatican financial reforms initiated by Cardinal George Pell. Although Pope Francis had given the newly created Prefecture for the Economy autonomous oversight authority over Vatican finances, Becciu interfered when the prefecture planned an external audit of all Vatican departments, to be conducted by the firm PriceWaterhouseCooper.

Unilaterally, and without permission of Pope Francis, Becciu cancelled the audit and announced in a letter to all Vatican departments that it would not take place.

When Pell challenged internally the audit’s cancellation, Becciu persuaded Pope Francis to give his decision ex post facto approval, sources inside the prefecture told CNA. The audit never took place.

In 2017, Becciu was also responsible for the dismissal of the Vatican’s first-ever auditor general, Libero Milone.

Milone was fired in dramatic fashion by Becciu, who accused the auditor of “spying” on the finances of senior officials, including Becciu. The then-Archbishop Becciu threatened criminal prosecution of Milone if he did not agree to leave his Vatican office quietly.

Milone maintained that he was fired for being too good at his job, and because he and the reforming work of the Prefecture for the Economy were perceived as a threat to the autonomy and business practices of long-time Curial officials. He said that he was dismissed on trumped-up charges after he uncovered evidence of financial misconduct under Becciu’s leadership.

Also in 2017, Becciu was involved in a complicated chain of events with the Sovereign Military Order of Malta that ended with the Grand Master of the Order being deposed, and Becciu being installed as special papal envoy charged with running the order.

At the center of that controversy were allegations that Vatican financial authorities had siphoned off more than 30 million euros from a 120 million euro bequest held in a Swiss bank account, in order to ease liquidity problems.

In February 2017, Pope Francis named Becciu as his personal delegate to oversee the “spiritual and moral” reform of the Order of Malta, with particular attention to the professed members. It is unclear if he will continue in the role.

Pope Francis created Becciu a cardinal on June 28, 2018. He was appointed prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints on Aug. 31, 2018.


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46 Comments

  1. ? A prophetic move on the part of the Holy Father , from his endearing manner of petition slips invoking the ‘sleeping st.Joseph ‘ , to touch hearts to do what need to be done …

    ? Would St.Padre Pio have been invoked as well .. to also see the
    S.G . Luisa to be better known , to hasten The Kingdom ..

    and giving merciful time to all who might have erred in any manner , time and space to do the work of The Kingdom , for its abundant good for all …

    • “… when Pope Francis named him a cardinal…”

      “….Becciu persuaded Pope Francis to give his decision ex post facto approval…”

      “…In February 2017, Pope Francis named Becciu as his personal delegate …”

      “Pope Francis created Becciu a cardinal on June 28, 2018. He was appointed prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints on Aug. 31, 2018….”

      Prophetic, indeed.

      • Apologies for not clarifying enough by what was meant by those words in this context and thank you for the occasion to do same .

        Meant to point to the manner in which the Holy Father likely trusted in his powerful friends such as St.Joseph , to help deal with the situation and not have to go for the drama of the court systems and such , once he sensed errors or worse , in these complex financial affairs , targeted by Masonic powers as well .

        Being misunderstood and facing public humiliations – Lord allows that too and Holy Father too , no stranger to same , as has been many others including
        S.G . Luisa , to thus help make amends for the evils of our times , through greed and lust for power ;
        good talk on same – https://www.comingofthekingdom.org/luisateachings/downloadable-prayers-j-z/prayer-to-begin-the-rounds/

        Blessings !

    • The pope merely did a slight slap on the wrist for malfeasance on the part of Bishop Bransfield of Wheeling WV. Bransfield sold a catholic high school (Bishop Donahue High) for $1.00 This building could have been used for reasons to support the Church. The bishop of Wheeling WV was very corrupt and reportedly stole vast sums. All this amid charges of sexual abuse by the bishop. I remember my parents pledging money for this school back in the early 50’s. This was a great sacrifice on the part of my father a local steel worker.

  2. Becciu and the Pontiff are two peas in a pod.

    The sudden “sacking” is reported as being a face-saving move by the Pontiff, as news investigations are about to be published exposing the deeds of Becciu, corroborating indications made by Sir Henry Sire and the reporting of Ed Condon.

    The Pontiff Francis and “His-Own-Cardinal”-Becciu, together…forever.

  3. Shocking details, indeed! One wonders as to what kind of Kingdom of Heaven these high ranking Church leaders have been preaching & practicing? It appears that they have been indulging into financial malfeasance and questionable deals with hard-earned money collected from the innocent faithfuls around the world! No wonder as to why Catholic population is increasingly dwindling everywhere in the world today. These Bishops/Cardinals appear to be either ignorant or not bothered of the fact that, thanks to the digital world, today’s young generation of people have been able to instantly get news about their mischiefs. One can only pity about the fact that great harm is done to the Kingdom of Heaven by such persons and may Lord Jesus forgive them.

    • Genuine sentiments such as yours no longer work. Paedophilia has been exposed. Financial shenanigans are ongoing and desperately need auditing.
      How many investigations have taken place of the murder of children by these purported god’s representatives?
      Time to raid all governments around the world along with churches and conglomerates.

      Sharpen the guillotine, I say and put the pervs to sleep, permanently!!!

      Hanora Brennan
      Ireland

  4. The Vatican’s financial arrangements should be independently audited on a regular basis, with the auditors rotated from time-to-time.

    “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.”

    • Reclaim what is rightfully the peoples!

      We paid for it down through the decades and centuries and these shenanigans have to stop, NOW!

  5. Cardinal O’Brien – serial sexual misconduct.
    Cardinal Becciu – suspected of serious financial ‘malfeasance’.

    And the beat goes on.

    Sigh

  6. Although I am certainly no expert in the labyrinthine ways of Vatican administration, this article left me with the impression that one individual had manipulated the system for decades (and certainly for all of Pope Francis’ term of office until now), destroyed the lives and reputations of his confreres with impunity, and doubtless committed numerous crimes which in another system would have seen him off to prison. He will, however, get a stern rebuke and a very hard slap upside the head, then pretty much go his way. Am I missing something here? I hope so.

  7. Don’t these people, all of them, read scripture and know who among Jesus’ followers was the one stealing from the purse!!!!! while saying to serve the poor? Good grief, does anybody in authority think anymore. A kindergartener would know better. I am truly appalled at their behavior. Do they consider they are trying to fool GOD. I really hope they all repent, (publicly would be good) and time is short. Have they not even respect for God’s House?

    • Linda, you credit these people with a modicum of decency which has always been lacking. How do you think they make it to the top?
      Time to topple the corruption of the global corporatism and reclaim our national and individual sovereignty.

  8. Nothing has changed. The corruption of centuries past still rules.

    Pell got an early release from prison because of the clout he had on the shenanigans of the current Vatican.

    Even if your sky fairy really did exist, as evidenced by your behaviour, that none of you believe in its presence, there is not a modicum of humility amongst you! Arrogance,ignorance and misogyny rule your putrid perverted palace,

    • “Pell got an early release from prison because of the clout he had on the shenanigans of the current Vatican.”

      This is comedy gold.

      • Nobody thinks it’s funny only you. Read up on the sudden resignation of another corrupt Cardinal today.
        Sodomy is not comic nor is it good!

        Sychophant!

      • Nobody thinks it’s funny only you. Read up on the sudden resignation of another corrupt Cardinal today.
        Sodomy is not comic nor is it good!

        Sychophant!Carl, if you doubt this, I suggest you read the Royal Commission on his behaviour of CSA in the parishes he resided in, plus he backtracking out of a dormitory having walked in on one of his colleague sodomising one of the boys!! Comedic gold?
        I took statements and sat in on this commission, confronted Pell in front of At Mary’s in Sydney on a speaking tour in 2013 and I tell you now, he is an arrogant, cold, calculating in,insulting and a sneering individual.
        He now begs for finances and the deluded Asians shall support his appeal.

        The world is waking up. You need to.

        Are you still laughing? Thousands of survivors are not.

        Hanora Brennan

        • “Sodomy is not comic nor is it good!”

          We agree on that. Of course, that’s not what my remark was about, was it?

          “Sychophant!”

          I’ve been called worse. And with correct spelling. Regroup. Try again.

          • I think you need to be sensitive to other people’s comments. English is not the only language in this world. I say this because it is afterall a “world report” so English may not be everyone first language.

            We are all God’s children and Catholic /Universal.

          • “I think you need to be sensitive to other people’s comments. English is not the only language in this world. I say this because it is afterall a “world report” so English may not be everyone first language.”

            She’s from Ireland. She clearly understands English. In fact, she called me a bunch of very colorful (and vulgar) names in comments that were not put through.

            “We are all God’s children”

            Not according to the Apostle John (see 1 Jn 3:7-10).

        • Shame on you, Hanora Brennan. I read it; the Royal Commission was a biased hatchet job, and you might want to refrain from embarrassing yourself by identifying yourself as part of it.

          He was found not guilty. You are libeling him, and on top of that you’re committing calumny.

          “he is an arrogant, cold, calculating in,insulting and a sneering individual.”

          Ahh, I see wherein the problem lies. You were looking into a mirror.

  9. Like so many, I had to attend the Novus Ordo for many years until recently when I was given the blessing of the opportunity to attend the TLM. From some of these comments, particularly from H Brennan, I can see that all those verses of Kumbaya I was subjected to were not enough to render the world fully charitable.

  10. Was this cardinal responsible for Carcinal Pell’s imprisonment? If so I think this should come out if a good man was unjustly put in jail and villified.

  11. I think H. Brennan is correct to be very angry or concerned about what is happening with some of our Catholic Church leaders. Pell lacks humility and is already selling a book about his time in prison. A despair on that kind of freedom of speech. It is not something to be proud of. St Paul and St Peter were in prison for Christ. Pell was there for a heinous crime against minors. Whether guilty or not, I think he should at least show remorse or some form of humility. I also question the Catholic World Report for peddling the book so soon after such an accusation. The same applies to Cardinal Beccui, trying to hide his corruption. We are all on a journey and yes, sinners too. These shepherds, however should not lead their flock astray. We read in the book of Wisdom 13:1-2

    “Yes, naturally stupid are all who are unaware of God, and who, from good things seen, have not been able to discover Him who is, or, by studying the works, have not recognised the Artificer. Fire, however, or wind or the swift air, the sphere of the stars, impetuous water, Heaven’s lamps are what they have held to be the gods who govern the world.”

    Noone can please God without Faith. Whoever approaches God, must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him. Pell and Beccui became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. Leading wicked lives, they have been unable to find the Master. Judas was once one of the 12 Apostles, Lucifer was once one of Heaven’s Angel and we all know what happened when pride took over.

    • Why should someone falsely accused and imprisoned be expected to show remorse? Isn’t that something more fitting for those who falsely accused him?

    • “Pell lacks humility and is already selling a book about his time in prison.”

      Cardinal Pell is publishing his prison memoirs in part becuse he has had to pay attorneys to defend him from false accusations. He is writing about how his faith helped him to endure his unjust imprisonment. There is nothing wrong with that.

      “A despair on that kind of freedom of speech.”

      I have no idea what that is supposed to mean.

      “It is not something to be proud of. St Paul and St Peter were in prison for Christ. Pell was there for a heinous crime against minors.”

      He was in jail because he was falsely accused by someone of things that witness after witness after witness after witness testified that he could not possibly have done.

      “Whether guilty or not, I think he should at least show remorse or some form of humility.”

      Are you demented? Why should he show any remorese for something that he didn’t do? And why is it lacking humility to write a book in which one talks about relying on God in a time of trouble and suffering?

      “I also question the Catholic World Report for peddling the book so soon after such an accusation.”

      An accusation of which he was acquitted. If someone ever makes up a bunch of lies accusing you of evil actions and you are dragged through an expensive court process and shoved into prison for over a year in spite of no confirming and many contradicting winesses, I must say that it would seem to me to be something that serves you right.

      “The same applies to Cardinal Beccui, trying to hide his corruption.”

      The cases are not equivalent.

      “We are all on a journey and yes, sinners too. These shepherds, however should not lead their flock astray. We read in the book of Wisdom 13:1-2”

      And you shoud quit bearing false witness, and calumniating Cardinal Pell.

    • ” Pell and Beccui became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened.”

      Cardinal Pell has been exonerated of the charges against him. Your vicious and spiteful accusations are disgraceful.

      “Leading wicked lives, they have been unable to find the Master.”

      And who gave you the power of reading men’s souls?

      “Judas was once one of the 12 Apostles, Lucifer was once one of Heaven’s Angel and we all know what happened when pride took over.”

      I am sure you have a great deal of fellow feeling for both of them, as you sit there in your smug pride presuming to declare guilty a man who has been acquitted of accusations that are so flagrantly false that bringing him to trial for them was a grave injustice.

  12. Excellent responses Leslie and thank you! Many of us are hoping that Cardinal George Pell will sue the corrupt senior Victorian police and their political ‘leaders’ for his unjust 13 months in solitary confinement: but he he probably won’t. If Pope Francis had any sense he would reappoint the cardinal to his former job and let him clean out the Vatican stables. Gordon Carter. Adelaide. South Australia.

    • Thank you, Gordon. I agree with you about suing. Seems to me that any citizen of Victoria ought to be able to sue them on the grounds of bringing the state of Victoria into disrepute!

  13. I respect your comments about Pell being found not guilty. He is however a high priest anointed by God. Remember Jesus was innocent but they crucified Him anyway, instead of Barabas. Jesus did not try to prove his innocence because he knew the truth. Everyone knew the truth. That is the point I am trying to make about humility. Jesus forgave those who persecuted him while he was hanging on a Cross in agony. He humbled himself for us.

    On the issue of sexual abuse of minors we all have to be very cautious because it is difficult to prove in court, where evidence is crucial. Moreover, children do not always disclose this until they are grown ups. It takes courage, afterall, it happens behind closed doors. No witnesses. All I am trying to say, is that being acquitted of sexual abuse of minors is not conclusive. It leaves a shadow as the real act remains hidden.

    Humility is important when you are in a position of leadership, particularly religious leadership. That is why I think both Pell and Beccui have failed their flock. Jesus washed his disciples’s feet, to illustrate this kind of humility that makes us his followers. You are probably correct in your criticism of my attitude towards Pell. I think of all people, he does not need me to lecture him, since he has taken vows of poverty, obedience and humility.
    Leslie, I do encourage you to read your Bible so you understand the meaning of God’s messages.No point in tearing other people’s views apart and have none to offer as a learning process, which is the reason for these articles. The point of the discussion is to educate and not to score points. We are here to learn and share our Catholic beliefs/ views as sisters and brothers in Christ. No need to tear each others points apart. By way of correction give me a good argument, a convincing critical appraisal of the article. We find the role of priesthood, their pivotal status as the chosen ones in Joshua 3:13
    Joshua 6: 4-5
    Joshua 7:1
    These are just a few examples of the role of God’s chosen people, they are anointed by God through the Sacrament.
    I am always open to a constructive criticism approach, supported by the Scriptures.

    • “That is why I think both Pell and Beccui have failed their flock.”

      How is Pell, in your view, not humble? He did not need to return to Australia to face charges. He did. He could have come out of prison angry and vindictive. He didn’t. Etc. Comparing Pell and Beccui is understandable in that both are cardinals and are/were part of the Curia. But it can also be facile and could well muddy the waters, as I think it does.

    • “Jesus forgave those who persecuted him while he was hanging on a Cross in agony. He humbled himself for us.”

      And do you think that Jesus should have showed remorse for the crimes of which he was accused?

      Cardinal Pell has said he bears no ill-will toward his accuser. (I, on the other hand, bear plenty of ill-will toward that accuser and all other people who make false accusations).

      “All I am trying to say, is that being acquitted of sexual abuse of minors is not conclusive. It leaves a shadow as the real act remains hidden. ”

      In other words, if you’re accused, you’re presumed to be guilty. What an utterly evil mindset. Again, if you were to be falsely accused, it would pretty much serve you right.

      “Leslie, I do encourage you to read your Bible so you understand the meaning of God’s messages.”

      Margareth, I encourage you to read the Bible so you grasp basic concepts like “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” In any event, this has very little to do with God’s messages; it’s about your lofty pride in presuming to read men’s souls.

      “No point in tearing other people’s views apart and have none to offer as a learning process, which is the reason for these articles.”

      Clarify, please, since I can’t figure out what you’re trying to say. And anybdy who uses gobbledygook like “learning process” automatically loses a fairly hefty chunk of credibility.

      “The point of the discussion is to educate and not to score points. ”

      So, you get to make false accusations and anybody who disagrees with you is only trying to “score points.” Got it.

      “We are here to learn and share our Catholic beliefs/ views as sisters and brothers in Christ.”

      Your “Catholic beliefs/view” appear to include libel and calumny.

      “No need to tear each others points apart.”

      When someone makes false accusations, I am going to tear that someone’s points apart. We are, after all, supposed to hunger and thirst after justice.

      “By way of correction give me a good argument, a convincing critical appraisal of the article.”

      I’m not critically appraising the article; I am pointing out the shameful nature of your post.

      “We find the role of priesthood, their pivotal status as the chosen ones in Joshua 3:13
      Joshua 6: 4-5
      Joshua 7:1
      These are just a few examples of the role of God’s chosen people, they are anointed by God through the Sacrament.”

      Which has nothing to do with the fact that you are calumniating Cardinal Pell.

      “I am always open to a constructive criticism approach, supported by the Scriptures.”

      Your definistion of “constructive criticism” appears to be “I will define the terms, I will set the rules, I will choose the field; and if you dare to disagree with me you’re not providing constructive criticism.” And don’t blame Scripture for your behavior.

    • Being acquitted of an offence shouldn’t leave a shadow on the one found not guilty. What kind of justice would that be?

      And we can’t presume a “real act” even occured if there is no evidence to corroborate it.
      It’s really quite unhelpful , not to mention uncharitable, if we continue to imagine lurid events that have not been proven to have any existence in reality.

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