A strong Vatican cardinal caught up in a real estate scandal resigned abruptly on Thursday and gave up his correct to just take portion in an eventual conclave to elect a pope, in one particular of the most mysterious episodes to hit the Holy See in yrs.
A brief statement, issued unusually in the evening, said that Pope Francis experienced accepted the resignation of Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, head of the office that decides who will be the saints of the Roman Catholic Church.
But maybe far more appreciably, the statement said the Becciu, seventy two, experienced “given up the legal rights involved with getting a cardinal”.
The one particular-line statement gave no facts and no purpose for the go, but the most critical correct of Roman Catholic cardinals underneath 80 is to just take portion in a conclave to elect a new pope right after the existing pope dies or resigns.
The relinquishing of that correct indicated that the purpose for Becciu’s resignation was particularly significant. The previous cardinal to give up that correct was Cardinal Keith O’Brien of Scotland, who resigned over a sex scandal in 2013.
Becciu was until eventually 2018 deputy secretary of state, one particular of the most strong positions in the Vatican. Throughout his tenure in that office the Vatican became embroiled in a controversial offer in which the Secretariat of Condition employed Church money to order a luxurious creating in London as an expenditure.
That investigation led to the suspension previous year of five Vatican staff, the resignation of the Vatican’s law enforcement main and the departure of the former head of the Vatican’s Money Information Authority (AIF). Becciu has denied all wrongdoing in the London assets offer and defended the order, indicating the assets has elevated in price.
In June, Vatican law enforcement arrested Gianluigi Torzi, an Italian intermediary who was portion of a controversial offer, and charged him with extortion, embezzlement, aggravated fraud and money laundering, the Vatican push office said in a statement.
He was later launched but the investigation is continuing. Vatican sources said they expected Vatican magistrates to hand down indictments quickly.