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Former Italian government minister files suit against member of Vatican reform panel

August 14, 2013

A former Italian government minister has filed suit against a member of the committee appointed by Pope Francis to supervise Vatican financial reforms.

Giulio Tremonti, who served as economy minister in the Berlusconi government, said that he was taking action against Francesca Chaouqui for a Twitter message in which she said that Tremonti was gay. He is also suing the daily newspaper Il Giornale for making the allegation public.

In July, Pope Francis named Chaoqui to a new 8-member committee charged with planning “ a simplification and rationalization of the existing bodies and more careful planning of the economic activities of all the Vatican administrations.” She was the only woman, and the only Italian, named to the committee.

Chaouqui’s appointment generated controversy because she had maintained an active Twitter account in which she had often posted provocative statements—including claims that Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, is “corrupt,” and an unsubstantiated claim that Pope-emeritus Benedict is suffering from leukemia. Chaouqui has now shut down her Twitter account. She says that some of the indiscreet messages were written by others who had gained access to the account.


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