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Vatican bank lawyer raps Secretariat of State investors, seeks damages

September 28, 2023

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CWN Editor's Note: As the Vatican’s financial “trial of the century” draws slowly toward its conclusion, at attorney for the Vatican bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), told a Vatican tribunal that the officials of the Secretariat of State invested large sums “without any control or accuracy.”

The attorney, Roberto Lipari, urged the tribunal to find defendants guilty in the financial-misconduct case, and said they should be required to pay the IOR for “moral and reputational damage.”

Lipari charged that the Secretariat of State used the IOR “like a cash machine,” and used their ecclesiastical clout to force the bank’s cooperation. He emphasized that the investment strategy of the Secretariat of State was amateurish: “It was all managed in a self-referential way by a monsignor who’s an expert in canon law, and an accountant with no experience in financial investments.”

To illustrate his argument, Lipari pointed to a plan to invest in a project in Angola, noting that the project threatened environmental damage, the host country had a poor human-rights record, and a potential partner was an arms dealer. That project—which was pursued under the leadership of the trial’s chief defendant, Cardinal Angelo Becciu—never came to fruition.

The above note supplements, highlights, or corrects details in the original source (link above). About CWN news coverage.


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