By
G. McConway
|
December 18, 2023

Italian Cardinal Sentenced to 5.5 Years for Embezzling

The Catholic Church has been enveloped in controversy for years, and it now has yet another blackeye to deal with.

Cardinal Angelo Becciu, 75, has been sentenced to serve more than five years in prison for embezzling Vatican funds.

Becciu was once considered to be a top contender for Pope.

Guilty

Reports started to surface several years ago that something was amiss in the Vatican, and Becciu was forced to resign in 2020 amid suspicions of missing funds.

At the time of the resignation, the Vatican stated, "The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the office of Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and from the rights connected to the Cardinalate, presented by His Eminence Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu.”

Becciu was stunned by the allegations made against him, stating at the time, "It's all surreal. Up until yesterday... I felt I was a friend of the Pope, the faithful executor of the Pope.

"Then the Pope told me that he no longer had faith in me because he got a report from magistrates that I committed an act of misappropriation."

The finances were a major focus for Pope Francis when he took over, vowing to clean things up immediately.

According to the reports at the time, Becciu was funneling Vatican funds to various businesses and charities that were run by his brothers.

At the center of the case against Becciu was a $380 million luxury property in London, where the Vatican was heavily invested.

In addition to the prison sentence, Becciu has been issued a $9,000 fine, both of which he says he will appeal.

The trial started in 2021 and involved nine other defendants in the case, including former Vatican employees.

Pope Francis broke regular protocol by allowing the cardinals and bishops accused to be tried, having previously been judged by tribunals of their peers.

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