Vatican City, Sep 24, 2017 / 09:25 am
The Vatican has issued a response to allegations made by former auditor general Libero Milone, who, three months after mysteriously stepping down in the middle of a five-year mandate, has said he was “threatened” into resignation by an “old guard” opposed to his work.
The Vatican’s Sept. 24 statement voiced “surprise and regret” at the allegations. It said that by speaking out, Milone “failed in the agreement to keep confidential the reasons for his resignation from office,” the Vatican said, noting that according to the statutes of his department, Milone's task had been to “analyze the budgets and accounts” of the Holy See and its related administrations specifically.
“Unfortunately the office directed by Milone exceeded its powers and illegally commissioned an external firm to carry out investigative activities on the private lives of representatives of the Holy See,” the statement said.
“In addition to constituting a crime,” the act “irreparably crippled the trust placed in Mr. Milone, who, placed in front of his responsibilities, freely agreed to resign.”
Milone gave an interview to several media outlets Sept. 23, saying “I think the Pope is a great person, and he began with the best intentions.”
“But I’m afraid he was blocked by the old guard that’s still wholly there, which felt threatened when it understood that I could relate to the Pope and to Parolin what I had seen in the accounts. This is the logic,” he said.
According to his version of events, Milone, 69, said that in June he was falsely accused with “staged” allegations of a misuse of funds when he hired an outside firm to check security on computers in his office, and then “intimidated” into resigning from his position.
Milone said he wanted “to do good for the Church, to reform it like I was asked, but they wouldn’t let me.”
Speaking from his lawyer’s office, the former auditor made his comments to reporters from four different Italian and English language media outlets, including Italian paper Corriere della Sera, the Wall Street Journal, Reuters news agency and Italian TV channel SkyTg24.