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Secretariat of State seeks $185 million damages in Vatican financial trial

September 29, 2023

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CWN Editor's Note: The Vatican Secretariat of State is asking for €177 million ($185 million) in damages from the defendants in the Vatican’s financial-misconduct “trial of the century.”

In September 28 arguments before a Vatican tribunal, Paola Severino said that the defendants, led by Cardinal Angelo Becciu, had “seriously damaged” the institutional reputation of the Secretariat of State, as well as incurring heavy financial losses for the Vatican.

The lawyer for the Secretariat of State argued that the institution had followed a careful, conservative investment strategy until “the moment of entry of the temple merchants, fully accompanied and consented to by his Eminence Becciu.” She sketched a series of speculative financial deals, culminating in the disastrous London real-estate purchase that prompted a Vatican criminal investigation.

Severino told the court that when Archbishop Edgar Pena Parra succeeded Cardinal Becciu as the sostituto, or deputy secretary of state, he recognized that the London deal was a debacle, and sought “to find a way out of the situation, preserving the investment as much as possible.”

Earlier this week a legal representative for the Vatican bank, the Institute for Religious Works, had told the tribunal that officials of the Secretariat of State treated the bank “like a cash machine” to bail out unwise investments. The Vatican bank is also seeking about $1 million in damages from the defendants.

On September 29, the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), which was also called upon to absorb the losses of the Secretariat of State, will present its own case for punitive damages against the defendants. In hearings scheduled next week, lawyers for the defendants will present their case.

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


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