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In Corruption Trial, Vatican Bank Chief Says His Office Refused To Bail out Real Estate Deal

Regarding the purpose of Spes, the bishop said the charitable organization was created “to help the most disadvantaged people in the most effective way.”

“We thought of creating an autonomous structure from a managerial point of view, but which also shared the charitable purposes of the diocese and Caritas to help those most in need,” Sanguinetti said.

Sanguinetti also said that Becciu’s brother, Antonino, a religion professor who was active in the diocese, was seen as the “most suitable, as well as available, to take over its management” and that his work “was free.”

“He had the salary of a religion teacher,” the bishop said.

Melis reiterated his predecessor’s testimony, saying that Spes was not used to benefit Becciu’s brother but was only a means of helping those in need through employment opportunities and assisting ex-convicts and former drug addicts.

Also according to Melis, bishop of Ozieri since 2015, “the cooperative responded more to people’s work needs, then also taking care of ex-convicts and ex-drug addicts.”

Organizations “like Spes are established all over Italy to overcome welfare,” he added. “It is an effort to create new realities that also provide jobs.”

Regarding a request to the Italian bishops’ conference for 250,000 euro, Melis explained that the money was financial assistance for Spes’ charitable activities and was not used to pay a fine from a labor dispute the organization was involved in.

This article originally appeared here