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Police raid office of Cardinal Scola's friend hours before conclave

Catholic World News - March 14, 2013

Italian police raided the home and office of a close friend of Milan’s Cardinal Angelo Scola on March 12, just before the opening of a papal conclave that the cardinal entered as a leading candidate for the papacy.

Police detectives carried out a series of raids on the offices and homes of officials involved in the health-care industry in Milan and the surrounding region of Lombardy. Police spokesman said that they were investigating charges of corruption in the delivery of medical supplies.

The timing of the raids—perhaps not coincidentally—was awkward for Cardinal Scola, not only because the Catholic Church is heavily involved in health-care institutions in Milan, but also because his longtime friend Roberto Formigoni is the leading figure in the health-care industry in Lombardy. Formigoni is also a key figure in the Communion and Liberation movement, with which Cardinal Scola has had close ties.

It seems unlikely that news of the raids reached the cardinal-electors before they entered their conclave. But the breaking news ensured that if he had been elected as Pontiff, Cardinal Scola would immediately have faced questions about the corruption charges. The timing of the raids also ensured maximum public exposure for the investigators who carried them out.

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