Article by Leo Zagami
Once again, an extraordinary move by the Vatican police exposes the growing tension in Vatican finances. On Tuesday, the Vatican police raided the department in charge of maintenance and restoration at St. Peter’s Basilica, seizing documents and computers for an investigation into suspected corruption that is being used to remove some otherwise unremovable figures from the Vatican mafia that have been involved in money-laundering and other criminal activities for years.
The raid was similar to one last October that involved another investigation into a separate department over the purchase of a building in a posh area of London. Officially, the raid came a month after the Vatican published new procurement rules intended to prevent corruption and cut costs, but the truth is that the Vatican is worried about the upcoming scheduled inspection by Moneyval. The Holy See Press Office said Tuesday that the police acted under orders from Vatican prosecutors in response to a report by the city state’s auditor general.
The Vatican also said that Pope Francis has appointed a retired papal diplomat and known Jesuit agent, Archbishop Mario Giordana, to serve as the extraordinary commissioner of the Fabbrica di San Pietro, which manages the operation and maintenance of the basilica. The archbishop in question has been assigned the job of “updating the statutes, clarifying the administration and reorganizing the administrative and technical offices” of the Fabbrica. The unusual step of appointing a commissioner removes responsibility from the powerful Cardinal Angelo Comastri, who has served as president of the Fabbrica since 2005 but has also been accused of covering up the abuse of underage altar boys who served in St. Peter’s Basilica.
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