- Feb 23, 2021
On Tuesday, Pope Francis moved to address the perception that the system is rigged against defendants with a series of reforms, such as modifying the requirements for “in absentia” trials as well introducing the possibility of reduced sentences for good behavior and rehabilitation programs.
Friday’s appointment of Catia Summaria as Promoter of Justice for the Vatican’s Court of Appeals is not mere tokenism, as the Vatican’s criminal justice system is becoming progressively more significant in the Pope Francis era.
Under Pope Francis, there’s a river of news every day, often making it hard to separate the important from the ephemeral. In that light, here’s a run-down of stories from the past year whose lasting significance still hasn’t been fully digested.
A three-judge Vatican panel on Saturday sentenced a former president of a papally-sponsored pediatric hospital to one year of detention, a temporary ban on public office and a fine of 5,000 Euro, all suspended on the condition that he not commit another offense, for the charge of having illicitly spent $500,000 of the hospital’s money to remodel the private apartment of a senior Vatican cardinal.
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?
In the latest session of a Vatican trial concerning the misappropriation of funds from a papally-sponsored hospital to remodel a large Vatican apartment, the prosecution asked that the former president of the hospital, layman Giuseppe Profiti, be charged with three years imprisonment and pointed to a profound “opaqueness” and “disorder” in the handling of papal finances.