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Did Vatican cardinal plan to keep transaction secret from Pope Francis?

June 19, 2015

An Italian police wiretap reportedly caught a ranking Vatican official saying that Pope Francis should not be informed about a proposed €30-million ($34 million) transaction.

In an investigation into the bankruptcy of the Divine Providence nursing-home chain, police reportedly captured a recording of Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, discussing the possible purchase of a stake in an Italian corporation, and saying: “You have to keep mum about this €30 million.”

The purchase was never made, and Cardinal Versaldi apparently faces no charges of wrongdoing, although the recording will cause him considerable embarrassment. The cardinal has denied attempting to mislead the Pontiff; he told reporters that he only wanted to avoid complicated explanations of the financial deals that were contemplated.

At the time, Cardinal Versaldi was president of the Vatican Prefecture for Economic Affairs. In March he was promoted by Pope Francis to become prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education.


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