One particular day following his sudden, surprising dismissal by Pope Francis, Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, a effective Vatican official, confirmed at a information conference in Rome on Friday that the pope disciplined him in excess of allegations of corruption. But the cardinal declared that he was innocent of any wrongdoing.
“My conscience tells me I am not corrupt,” Cardinal Becciu explained when reporters peppered him with issues about embezzlement allegations. He explained he was “a bit dazed,” and even now grappling with what he described as a “surreal” condition.
Above a job spanning decades in the Roman Catholic Church, Cardinal Becciu had come to be a heavyweight in the Vatican hierarchy, described by one particular Vatican observer as the “finest, most informed and attentive diplomat doing work within the Holy See.” His most latest place was head of the Vatican division that generates saints.
But he also emerged in latest many years as a big character in conspiracies about alleged attempts to undercut fiscal reforms promoted by Cardinal George Pell, who headed the Vatican’s financial arm until eventually he had to return to Australia to encounter accusations of sexual abuse.
Cardinal Becciu explained at the information conference that his daily life had been upturned following the pope advised him on Thursday afternoon “that he no longer has faith in me, since prosecutors advised him that I had committed acts of embezzlement.”
He explained he turned pale, and that the pope, as well, appeared to be “suffering” as he asked the cardinal to phase down from his departmental place. He also was stripped of the rights that come with staying a cardinal, together with voting for the subsequent pontiff.
There has been significantly speculation in the media that Cardinal Becciu was ousted since of a murky and difficult London genuine estate deal in which the Vatican is believed to have misplaced hundreds of thousands — together with money from “Peter’s Pence,” donations for charity offered by the faithful.
But the cardinal explained the genuine estate transaction hadn’t come up at all all through his meeting with the pope. And he explained that money from Peter’s Pence had not been employed to finance the acquisition of the London home.
The Vatican on Friday declined to comment.
The cardinal also responded to widespread media reviews of his alleged corruption all through his extended stint at the Secretariat of State, the Vatican division which oversees the diplomacy and administration of the Holy See. He went in excess of every single allegation, proclaiming his innocence.
The prelate explained he had not been contacted by prosecutors, but that he would be inclined to communicate to them.
He accused the media of getting an agenda “to demonstrate that Becciu financed his relatives, manufactured his relatives wealthy.” But he insisted that this is not genuine.
“You can go and see how they dwell,” he explained of his relatives members, “their property, which autos they drive and how several they have, you will see that their daily life has continued as regular.”
When he’d walked into the meeting with the pope on Thursday, Cardinal Becciu explained he had felt “like a pal of the pope, a faithful executor of the pope.” But even following his dressing down, he explained of Francis, “I will by no means betray him.”
He explained he hoped that Francis would see “that it was all a huge misunderstanding.”