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Powerful Vatican official defends Roman Curia, says criticism based on 'Vatileaks II' document is unjust

January 13, 2016

Archbishop Angelo Becciu, who coordinates most of the Vatican’s daily business, has disputed the notion that the Roman Curia is a “den of thieves.”

In an interview with the Italian magazine Panorama, Archbishop Becciu argues that much of the treatment of Vatican officials in recent Italian media reports has been “supremely unjust.” The impression given by leaked documents, he said, is misleading to the point of being “absolute falsehood.”

Commenting on the claims of mismanagement that have been published in two new books based on the “Vatileaks II” revelations, the archbishop said that financial statistics had been portrayed in an unrealistic light. For example, he cited the claims that only 20% of the proceeds from the Peter’s Pence collection goes to projects that help the poor. The collection is designed to support the work of the Holy See, he observed. Archbishop Becciu said that the Vatican could earmark 60% of the Peter’s Pence collection for charitable works—but only at the cost of firing 400 employees.

The archbishop was especially emphatic in his denunciation of those who leaked the confidential Vatican documents, saying that they betrayal was “a slap in the face of the Pope.” He added: “They swore on the Holy Gospel to never reveal what they saw, heard, and read during the course of their work.” He refused to respond to recent public statements by one “Vatileaks II” defendant, Francesca Chaouqui. “I don’t comment on nonsense,” he said.

Archbishop Becciu is the sostituto, or Secretary for General Affairs, at the Secretariat of State.

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  • Posted by: loumiamo - Jan. 15, 2016 6:03 PM ET USA

    Phil, I checked the Vatican site re Peters Pence, and on page http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/secretariat_state/obolo_spietro/documents/actual_en.html, the first 5 paragraphs speak almost exclusively about charitable giving, with no mention at all about the general needs of the Holy See. Would make proud any bait & switch operator that's ever come down the pike. Suppose that's not very charitable on my part, or maybe its only 20% uncharitable/80% charitable. If it works for the Vatican, ...

  • Posted by: phil L - Jan. 15, 2016 3:05 PM ET USA

    When a charity devotes 80% of revenue to admin, that's a scandal. But the Peter's Pence collection is for the needs of the Holy See, which includes operating the Roman Curia. In this case "admin" means the working of the Vatican-- which is what the collection is for.

  • Posted by: loumiamo - Jan. 15, 2016 12:52 PM ET USA

    80% of contributions to Peters Pence goes to admin?!? 80%!! I can't be the only one who thinks this is terrible, can I?