A senior Catholic cardinal has been accused of using €700,000 of Vatican funds to bribe witnesses to secure a sex abuse conviction against a rival.
Italian media have reported that Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, 72, is suspected of wiring the cash to recipients in Australia who helped to ensure hostile testimony in the abuse trial of Cardinal George Pell, who was accused of molesting choir boys in Melbourne in the 1990s.
Before he returned to Australia in 2017 where he was tried, jailed and acquitted on appeal, Cardinal Pell, 79, served as finance minister at the Vatican, where his attempts to clean up opaque accounting were opposed by Cardinal Becciu.
Quoting leaked documents, the Italian newspapers La Repubblica and Corriere della Sera reported at the weekend that Vatican investigators suspect that Cardinal Becciu hoped to use the money to definitively derail Cardinal Pell’s transparency programme, which threatened to expose Cardinal Becciu’s allegedly corrupt management of Vatican cash.
Isn’t it all going to be so glorious if this turns out to be true? That entire witch hunt against Pell purely bought and paid for?
True, it seems a bit of a stretch but then…….