Vatican Cardinal Angelo Becciu
Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu was born in Pattada, Sassari, Italy, on June 2nd, 1948. On August 27th, 1972, Becciu became a priest. Pope Francis created and proclaimed Cardinal Becciu on June 28th, 2018.
A Vatican cardinal is a senior ecclesiastical official within the Catholic Church whom the Pope has appointed. Cardinals are considered the most senior members of the clergy below the Pope. Cardinals also play crucial roles in the governance of the Church. Roles such as electing, advising, and representing the Pope. The title “cardinal” derives from the Latin word “cardo,” meaning “hinge.” This suggests the cardinal’s vital role as an advisor to the Pope.
The embezzled Vatican money
The trial emphasized the Vatican Secretariat of State’s investment of 350 million euros, about 382 million in U.S. dollars. The money was used to acquire and transform a former Harrod’s warehouse into luxury apartments in London. According to a PBS article written by Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, “Prosecutors alleged Vatican monsignors and brokers fleeced the Holy See of tens of millions of euros in fees and commissions and then extorted the Holy See for 15 million euros to cede control of the building” (Winfield, 2023).
The Vatican Court accused Cardinal Becciu of two counts of embezzlement. The first was sending 125,000 euros to a charity his brother ran in Sardinia. The second one is his involvement in transforming the warehouse into luxury apartments in London, which totaled 200 million euros.
After a 2 1/2 year trial, the Vatican court sentenced Cardinal Becciu to 5 ½ years in prison, convicted of embezzlement using Vatican money. A Vatican court has sentenced Cardinal Becciu, marking him as the first cardinal to receive such a sentence.
Cardinal Becciu is just one of many suspects that went to trial. Winfield also mentioned in the PBS article, “The tribunal acquitted many of the suspects of many of the biggest charges, including fraud, corruption, and money-laundering, determining in many cases that the crimes simply didn’t exist” (Winfield, 2023).
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