CNA Staff, Oct 2, 2020 / 13:30 pm
Italian media have reported allegations that Cardinal Angelo Becciu transferred several hundred thousand euros from Vatican accounts to an account in Australia during the trial of Cardinal George Pell.
The cardinal has not responded to the allegation, which CNA has not independently corroborated.
Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported Friday that the alleged transfer is part of a dossier of evidence being compiled by Vatican investigators and prosecutors against the cardinal, who was forced to resign by Pope Francis on Sept. 24.
According to the Italian newspaper Il Messaggero, the allegations were made by Msgr. Albert Perlasca, Becciu’s former chief deputy at the Secretariat of State. Perlasca and Becciu worked together for several years overseeing aspects of curial governance, including the investment Vatican finances.
Perlasca is believed to be cooperating with Vatican prosecutors as part of an ongoing investigation into financial misconduct at the Secretariat of State over a period of years.
Il Messagaro reported on Friday that, in discussions with Vatican prosecutors, Perlasca accused Becciu of transferring 700,000 euros from a Vatican account to an Australian account during the course of Pell’s trial in Victoria on charges of child sexual abuse. The paper did not specify when Perlasca first made the accusation, did not give a precise date for the alleged transfer, and did not indicate to whom the account in Australia was supposed to belong.
CNA has not confirmed the substance of the accusation, which is likely to make global headlines after years of speculation by supporters of Pell that the timing of sexual abuse allegations against him was linked to efforts to oppose his reform of Vatican finances.
Perlasca worked as the head of the administrative office from 2009 until July 2019, when Pope Francis appointed him Promoter of Justice at the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature; chief prosecutor of the Church’s highest ecclesiastical court. Becciu served as sostituto, the second most senior position in the secretariat, from 20012-2018, when he was promoted to lead the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and made a cardinal.