- Mar 29, 2020
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.
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.
At the moment, the Vatican finds itself facing two less-than-edifying storylines, one involving a priest in the papal embassy in Washington, D.C., suspected of possible violations of child pornography laws, and the other featuring a Vatican trial for financial misappropriation against former officials of a papally-sponsored pediatric hospital. Here are a few resources for thinking intelligently about each.