Dispersal of the money stalled after the board continued to ask questions about the final destination of the funds.
Two initial installments were sent to Rome in late 2017 and early 2018, totaling $13 million. After internal disagreements about the grant went public, Cardinal Wuerl said he would ask the Vatican to cancel the request and return the funds. In early 2019 Parolin wrote to the board saying the $13 million would be reclassified as a loan, rather than a grant, and would be repaid as credits against future grant requests.
When the grant money stalled, APSA was forced to write off 30 million of the 50 million euro loan, wiping out APSA's profits for the 2018 financial year.
Bishop Nunzio Galantino, head of APSA, acknowledged the loan and its write-off in September, even though APSA is legally prohibited from making loans that finance commercial transactions, due to its 2012 moneyval agreement.
After the Oct. 21 publication of a book that alleged the Vatican was nearly insolvent, Galatino blamed the loan for APSA's failure to register a profit for the first time in its history.
Parolin answered CNA's questions this week after Cardinal Angelo Becciu, who has widely been reported to have been the driving force behind both arranging the loan and pushing for the Papal Foundation grant, contacted CNA to deny his involvement in those matters. He told CNA that both matters were the "competence" of the Secretary of State, Parolin.
Becciu told CNA by text message earlier this month that he had not known about the APSA loan until after it was arranged, and that he had no part in requesting a grant from the Papal Foundation.
The 2014 APSA loan was arranged over the strong objections of Cardinal George Pell, then serving as the Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy and charged by Pope Francis with enforcing financial accountability on the Roman Curia. CNA has also reported a loan request for the same purpose had been vetoed by the IOR, the Vatican's deposit bank, after its president, Jean-Baptiste Douville de Franssu, and Pell agreed that the IDI was unviable and the money would never be repaid.
While Parolin took responsibility for the IDI arrangements, Vatican officials across several dicasteries have told CNA Becciu was involved in organizing both the loan and coordinating the lobbying effort for the Papal Foundation grant. That effort included a visit to McCarrick by the secretary of APSA, Fr. Mauro Rivella, in Washington, DC, shortly after the grant request was made. The visit took place before McCarrick pushed board members to approve the grant, and after an investigation into McCarrick's sexual misconduct had begun.
Still, Parolin insisted that "as far as I know, Cardinal Becciu had no role whatsoever in" those matters.
Nevertheless, Becciu's personal connections to the IDI hospital go back at least as far as his appointment to the position of sostituto in 2011.
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Shortly after Becciu began working as the second-ranking official in the Secretariat of State, Fr. Franco Decaminada, the IDI's president - subsequently arrested, prosecuted, imprisoned, and laicised for theft and fraud - approached him for support on a proposal that the Secretariat of State supply the IDI with 200 million euros, ostensibly to fund a take over of another hospital by the IDI, which was already teetering on insolvency.
In October, Becciu told CNA he did not recall any such proposal, though it had been reported previously in Italian media. Shortly after that proposal was made, Decaminada hired Becciu's niece Maria Piera Becciu, as his personal secretary.
In October, CNA asked Becciu if he or his position at the Secretariat of State had played any role in the hiring of his niece at the IDI. He told CNA that "she applied for the position and was hired."
Last month, Becciu told CNA that his interest and involvement with the IDI ceased when Cardinal Parolin was appointed Secretary of State.
"Cardinal Parolin assumed the office of Secretary of State [in 2013] and I no longer concerned myself with IDI," he said.
While taking responsibility for the APSA loan and the Papal Foundation request, Parolin told CNA that the interpretation of those events "by certain media is a different matter, presenting these operations as non-transparent, irregular or even illegal: this, as far as I am concerned, is not the truth."