CNA Staff, Nov 23, 2020 / 14:00 pm
Cardinal Angelo Becciu is launching a second defamation lawsuit in relation to “offensive” media reports surrounding the events that led to his resignation from the rights of a cardinal, his lawyer told CNA Nov. 23.
The latest lawsuit involves statements made by an Italian woman, Geneviève Ciferri Putignani, to the Italian newspaper “La Verita,” published Nov. 22, in which Putignani alleged that Becciu accused her of plotting against him, while swearing and invoking the names of God and the pope -- a claim the cardinal strongly rejects.
Becciu’s lawyer, Fabio Viglione, said in an official statement: “The sacrilegious content of the article, seriously offensive to the Holy Father and my client, rests on attributions of phrases and attitudes that the cardinal rejects with absolute firmness, denouncing their total falsity, and which will be brought to the attention of the judicial authority.”
“I received a mandate from Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu to propose an immediate complaint for aggravated defamation against Mrs. Geneviève Ciferri Putignani, in relation to the statements attributed to her today by the newspaper “La Verità,’” Viglione said in the statement he sent to CNA Nov. 23.
This is the second defamation lawsuit filed by Becciu since the Vatican announced his resignation as prefect and from the “related rights of the Cardinalate” on Sept. 24.
On Nov. 18, the former senior Vatican official said he was taking legal action against the Italian media outlet L’Espresso for publishing “unfounded accusations” against him.
Since September, Italian newsweekly L’Espresso has published several reports about the former curial official, including claims he is being investigated by the Vatican for misuse of Secretariat of State funds and papal alms while he was serving as the department’s sostituto.
Becciu has denied reports that he had used Church funds to benefit family members, or that he had attempted to influence the outcome of a sex abuse trial against Cardinal George Pell in Australia last year.