Pell said that he and his team probably could not have saved the Vatican all of the money it lost on the Secretariat of State’s deal on a London building, because “some things were already underway” in 2014, but “in other situations we did it.”
According to Vatican investigators, a two-year-long probe into the controversial London investment revealed numerous bad actors, some of whom are accused of actively working to defraud the Secretariat of State.
The Vatican indicted 10 people this summer, including Becciu, and a trial kicked off at the end of July.
But already in the first hearings, Vatican prosecutors have been accused of procedural errors, and have been ordered to re-do a part of the investigation into seven of the 10 defendants, including Becciu.
At a hearing last month, the Vatican tribunal also ordered the prosecution’s office to hand over videotapes of testimony from Msgr. Alberto Perlasca, a suspect-turned-star-witness, to the defense.
The tapes were reportedly deposited for viewing by the defendants’ lawyers on the night of Nov. 3, the day they were due. The trial’s next hearing is scheduled for Nov. 17.
Pell said that Becciu “has the right to a fair trial. We will see.”
The trial will “go on, but slowly,” the cardinal added. “I don't know how it will proceed, but we know where we got, we know how they lost a lot of [British] pounds with that London building and at least this is progress.”
In a statement made through his lawyer Nov. 4, Becciu called Pell’s comments to press a “tired revival, even if in the form of suspicion, of subjects of considerable gravity.”
Becciu’s statement also defended the Secretariat of State’s financial autonomy from the economy office, which he said has been supported by Pope Francis in regulatory documents in 2016 and 2020.
“The diversity of views on the correct management of the temporal goods of the Church,” the statement continued, “cannot authorize the use of prevarications, manipulation, and ad personam attacks unfastened from historical reality.”
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This report was updated with comments from Cardinal Becciu at 9:12 a.m. MDT.
Hannah Brockhaus is Catholic News Agency's senior Rome correspondent. She grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and has a degree in English from Truman State University in Missouri.