Home Christian News London Property Scandal Was a ‘via Crucis,’ Says Archbishop at Vatican Trial

London Property Scandal Was a ‘via Crucis,’ Says Archbishop at Vatican Trial

However, at the start of the 52nd session, a statement by Becciu was presented to the court in which he blasted the prosecution’s characterization of him.

During the trial’s March 8 session, the Vatican’s chief prosecutor, Alessandro Diddi, presented the court with several letters between Francis and Becciu, in which the cardinal had pleaded with the pontiff to back his version of events and drop charges of financial malfeasance against him.

Becciu also asked the pope to confirm he had endorsed the 2014 purchase and subsequent sale of the London real estate property.

“I should cite you as a witness in the trial, but I would not allow myself to do so,” the cardinal wrote to Francis in a letter dated July 24, 2021.

In another letter, the pope referenced a previous request by Becciu that Francis confirm he had authorized payments to Cecilia Marogna, a self-styled security analyst who is also on trial, that he said were used to negotiate the release of a Colombian nun held hostage in Mali.

Marogna, who is charged with embezzlement, was paid exorbitantly for advising Becciu and used the payments to buy expensive designer bags and furniture, according to prosecutors.

In his statement to the court, Becciu said the letters were “intended to remain strictly private, especially because (they) contained details regarding the humanitarian operation that I felt should remain confidential for the protection of the Holy See and international relations.”

He also took issue with Diddi’s characterization that the Italian cardinal was trying to manipulate the pope in order to drop the charges.

“Firmly and with my head held high, I affirm: I am not a manipulator. In my life, I have never manipulated anyone, much less the Holy Father,” Becciu wrote.

Becciu also said Diddi did not present another letter that would have provided further context. According to the cardinal, in a 2021 phone call, Francis asked him “to put in writing what I felt needed to be stated in order to represent the truth.

“Mind you, it was not I who proposed this, but it was he (Francis) who requested that I formalize such information in writing. So I did, the following day, with a letter,” which he said was dated July 20, 2021.

“It is enough to read that first letter, which the pope acknowledged, to have full confirmation of this. A letter which the prosecutor did not deposit and which I am therefore obliged to deposit myself, for the sake of truth.”

Diddi had presented a letter dated July 21, 2021, from Francis, in which the pontiff expressed “surprise” at Becciu’s request for the two statements.

However, the cardinal alluded that the pope’s response may have been written by someone else.

“I noticed a style and terminology not usual for the Holy Father, whose tones I know well from my five years of constant collaboration as substitute,” Becciu said.

“I really could not understand what was going on. Also, in reading the second letter, the one dated July 26, 2021, I was even more bewildered, because I did not recognize the Holy Father in those few lines. The content was far from what we had discussed,” he said.

This article originally appeared here