Vatican archbishop’s memo puts Secretariat of State at center of financial trial
January 04, 2022
CWN Editor's Note: An April 2021 memo from Archbishop Pena Parra, the deputy Secretary of State, could shift the focus of the Vatican financial trial.
Archbishop Pena Parra—who occupies the sostituto post previously held by Cardinal Angelo Becciu, the most prominent defendant in the landmark trial—warned in his memo that the investment strategies he discovered there were “aimed at financial speculation and not at all the conservative and safe preservation of the assets of the Secretariat of State.”
The lengthy memo was prepared for the Vatican tribunal hearing criminal charges against ten people involved with Vatican investments. It was made public by veteran Vatican journalist Sandro Magister.
Archbishop Pena Parra said that Msgr. Alberto Perlasca, a key prosecution witness in the trial, pressured him to approve investments that had already been negotiated, saying that the new sostituto would not understand the complex financial transfers. His memo will undoubtedly raise new questions as to why Msgr. Perlasca is not one of the defendants in the case.
Referring specifically to the London real-state deal that is central to the prosecution, Archbishop Pena Parra said that the investment strategy of the Secretariat of State seemed to involve “going to look for the worst in international finance and going into business with them.”
The sostituto also confirmed that the Secretariat of State, prior to his arrival, had vigorously opposed efforts to investigate its financial affairs.
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