Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic World News

Former Vatican financial watchdog says he was powerless to stop London deal

April 07, 2022

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CWN Editor's Note: René Brülhart, the former head of the Vatican’s Financial Information Authority, told a Vatican tribunal on April 6 that he recognized the possibility of fraud in a controversial London real-estate purchase, but could not persuade the Secretariat of State to stop the deal.

Brülhart, who faces criminal charges for abuse of office, told the court that he had done nothing wrong. He said that Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra, the deputy Secretary of State, was determined to close the troubled deal, rather than pursuing legal charges against Gianluigi Torzi, the broker, for extortion.

Brülhart also rejected prosecution claims that he had a conflict of interest, since he was acting as consultant to the Secretariat of State while also heading the Vatican’s financial-watchdog agency. He observed that the Secretariat of State was not subject to his agency’s oversight.

Brülhart left the Financial Information Authority in November 2019. Vatican officials said at the time that he had completed his term of office, and it was not renewed. Brülhart countered that he had resigned, and pointed out that he had not been appointed for a specific term.

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