- Apr 1, 2020
As a Vatican trial for financial misappropriation nears its end, the main question remains what it was in the beginning: Why is a former hospital official facing judgment for spending $500,000 to remodel a cardinal’s apartment using a now-bankrupt construction company owned by an old friend of the cardinal, but neither the cardinal nor the businessman were ever charged?
Italian businessman Gianantonio Bandera told a Vatican court on Monday that Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the former Secretary of State under Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, played a hands-on role in making the arrangements for remodeling his Vatican apartment that ultimately led to criminal charges. Bertone is not charged in the case, and was never considered a suspect.
Despite what appeared to be Vatican hopes that a criminal trial against two Italian laymen for allegedly misappropriating funds from a papally-sponsored hospital to renovate the Vatican apartment of a prominent Vatican cardinal could be wrapped up by the time Pope Francis returns on Monday from Colombia, day one ended with the case suspended until Sept. 19 because new evidence has emerged.
Italian Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the former Secretary of State under Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, has denied rumors of involvement in a scheme to overpay for remodeling on his Vatican apartment in order to benefit an Italian businessman and longtime friend. Meanwhile, questions remain about how the businessman was able to bill two different Vatican departments almost $1 million for the same work, which was never even finished.