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Former Vatican auditor sues Secretariat of State, promises proof of corruption

November 10, 2022

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CWN Editor's Note: The Vatican’s former Auditor General and his deputy have filed a lawsuit against the Secretariat of State, saying that they can demonstrate widespread corruption in the Vatican leadership.

Libero Milone was appointed as auditor general in 2015 but forced to resign in 2017 by Cardinal Angelo Becciu, who now faces criminal charges before a Vatican tribunal for financial misconduct. He and his former deputy, Ferruccio Panicco, say that they were dismissed unjustly, and suffered damage to their careers and reputations. They seek over $9 million in damages.

Milone says that he was threatened with prosecution by Cardinal Becciu after he investigated complaints of financial misconduct. In filing the lawsuit, he said that he could provide ample evidence of that misconduct, including details of embezzlement by high-ranking clerics.

The financial affairs of the Secretariat of State have been at the center of the current landmark trial at the Vatican. The former auditor told the New York Times that the office is a “viper’s nest” of corruption, speaking of “financial malfeasance, papal hypocrisy about transparency and a reign of terror by bug—and-blackmail-prone gendarmes.”

Milone and Panicco say that they have brought the suit only after repeated unsuccessful pleas to the Vatican to clarify the record and clear their names.

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  • Posted by: grateful1 - Nov. 11, 2022 8:01 PM ET USA

    Sadly, this lawsuit may be the only hope we have of getting to the bottom of the rot in the Vatican's finances.