Vatican trial, the all-out defense of Cardinal Becciu. From Marogna to St. Peter’s mite: “Absolutely innocent”
An all-out defense. From accusations and even inferences. Two less than two months after the first declarations, the cardinal Angelo Becciuaccused of embezzlement, abuse of office also in competition and subornation, returned to speak with spontaneous statements during the trial in the Vatican on the management of the funds of the State Secretariat. The cardinal touched on many points: from the story of Cardinal Bell to relations with Cecilia Magna.
LA PICENDA PELL – “For over a year I have been exposed to unbearable public pressure, with the shameful accusation of having even financed false testimony to the detriment of a confrere, Cardinal Pell, with money from the Secretariat of State. I now want to sweep away this very serious insinuation with the words of the Cardinal Secretary of State, Parolin, who has ascertained and accounted for the absolute falsity of this ignoble and unbearable inference ”. Pell – convicted in the first instance – was acquitted in Australia of the above charges sexual abuse of minors. “I deliver to the Court the letter of April 29 in which, among other things, Cardinal Parolin verbatim states that” Cardinal Pell continues to raise doubts about the transfer of 2.3 million Australian dollars to Australia, suspecting that these funds are were used by Cardinal Becciu to adversely affect the criminal trial which saw him accused of child abuse. The sum, on the other hand, as mentioned several times, was used to pay for the .catholic Internet domain “. This information was appropriately communicated to the Australian Embassy to the Holy See with verbal note 2112/21 / RS of 18 February 2021 ′. So over a year ago. But it doesn’t stop there, Mr. President “. My bitterness is even more profound – he added – in learning, from reading the correspondence I produce, that it was Cardinal Pell who authorized the payment of this sum, with a letter dated 11 September 2015 ″.
THE MAROGNA EVENT – Another chapter concerns Cecilia Marogna, a manager who declared that she was paid for intelligence activities on behalf of the Secretariat of State, considered very close to the cardinal, who would have pocketed a lot of money. “I have to express strong and vibrant indignation here and now for how this relationship has been distorted with offensive allegations, of the lowest nature, harmful – also – of my priestly dignity. I believe that this attitude betrays a similar treatment would have been reserved for a man ”. Becciu thanked the Pope for having dispensed him from the pontifical secret on the matter, whose opposition – he said – “was certainly not aimed at the protection of my person, but, given the delicacy of the matter, only and exclusively that of the Holy Father and the Apostolic See.
After almost two years of silence, he rebuilt his “relationship of acquaintance with Mrs. Marogna, kept in the deepest respect for the Court and awaiting this moment of clarification”. “I met Mrs. Marogna in 2016 when she asked me for an interview. I immediately appreciated his expertise in geopolitics and intelligence – Becciu recalled -. The lady proposed a professional collaboration with the Secretariat of State on these matters of her election. I specify that I did not understand it as a request for employment but as a simple offer of external collaboration “. For this reason “I sent it to the Commander of the Gendarmerie, dr. Giani, who received it. The same, then, informed me that he had drawn a good impression from the meeting, but that there was no immediate possibility of accepting his proposal ”. To increase her trust in women, even “a series of high-level institutional meetings promoted by Mrs. Marogna: for example, with the Generali Carta and Caravelli, which took place starting from October 2017, which is sponsored, participating in it in turn, in which I was able to further measure its competence, also inferring it from this qualified professional knowledge. The same, however, was able to introduce me to the then European parliamentarian Lorenzo Cesa, with whom he had carried out institutional collaboration ”.
Becciu thought of availing himself of the collaboration of Cecilia Marogna on the occasion of the kidnapping, which took place in Malì on 7 February 2017, of Sister Gloria Cecilia Navies Goti, Franciscan of Mary Immaculate, of Colombian nationality. She then returned to freedom on October 10, 2021. “The lady told me about a British intelligence agency, Inkerman, with which she, according to her, it would have been able to interface profitably by taking action for all the operations necessary for the release of Sister Gloria – has explained -. Thus, in one of the table audiences, I exposed the question and the first considerations that had arisen to the Holy Father. He was happy that efforts were being made for the liberation of the nun and immediately understood the need not to expose the Vatican to useless, and indeed harmful, publicity ”.
“He gave me the authorization to proceed”, and then “I met in London, in the first half of January 2018, officials from the Inkermann agency. In the presence of Mrs. Marogna, who had organized the meeting at my request ”. Having obtained the subsequent authorization of the Pope, “I, therefore, confirm that Mrs. Marogna took care of the security operations aimed at the release of Sister Gloria. The fiduciary credit obtained in the manner described, together with the inherent confidentiality of this kind of operation, led me to place the utmost confidence in its work, following the indications that I received from time to time, always accompanied by information about the activities carried out and to carry out. As for the payments that are contested to me, I would like to point out that they were arranged – again on the recommendation of Mrs. Marogna – on current accounts that she indicated to me from time to time, and which I have always considered related to the transaction-negotiation conducted by Inkerman and, therefore, aimed at the release of Sister Gloria and the expenses to be incurred for this purpose “. “I want to underline that no sum was destined as compensation to Mrs. Marogna”, added the cardinal.
THE CASE OF THE ORZIERI COOPERATIVE – The cardinal reiterated his “absolute innocence” by dwelling on the hypothesis of embezzlement in favor of Spes Cooperative of Ozieri governed by his brother Tonino (searched last February, ed) he claimed “the absolute correctness” of his conduct and repeated “as the only contributions object of dispute, which is the only sums that in the seven years were given by the Secretariat of State, in 2015 and 2018, as documented proved, they had a charitable destination “. “Bishop Sanguineti’s 2015 request for 25,000 euros was used to purchase the machinery useful for the bakery to leave after the fire – Becciu recalled -. Bishop Melis, in 2018, was destined to contribute, in the sum of 100,000, to the construction of the Citadel of Charity, whose total cost was around 1,300,000 euros. The sum was set aside pending employment, as proved and declared by the Bishop, e the works for the Opera they began materially on February 28th, as documented ”. As for the loan to Mrs. Zambrano, the cardinal specified that it was “given by the Caritas of Ozieri and not by the Spes Cooperative, as was said last time”. Becciu also wanted to say words about his brother Tonino “because he has often been passed off as a fixer and as one who speculates on church money”.
THE CASE OF SAINT PETER’S OBLUS – “One of the most publicly exposed issues of this judicial affair is the following: was or not used, for the investments in question, funds deriving from Peter’s offering? My firm answer is: no! The abolition funds were not used, but the reserve funds of the Secretariat of State ”. Becciu supported his response with the words of Msgr. Nunzio Galantino, president of the APSA, and then with some information on the extent of the Pole and its purposes. “I would have abused my powers, not for personal gain but to enrich people substantially unknown to me“, Becciu stressed about the accusations relating to the investments of the Secretariat of State, and I am criticized for the use of money coming from the Pence of St. Peter, to which, even, I would have given purposes incompatible with their institutional destination. All these accusations are unfounded ”.
I was recalling the words of Msgr. Galantino in an interview, Becciu reported: “However, it is important to say that the losses have had repercussions on the reserve fund of the Secretariat of State, not on other funds nor on the San Pietro Pence Fund which is used year by year, for the expenses of the Pope’s mission ”; and again, again Mons. Galantino: “The losses from the London investment were borne by the reserve fund of the Secretariat of State and not from the Pence of St. Peter or from that available to the Holy Father ”.
In any case, Becciu continued, “when I arrived at the Secretariat of State in 2011, it was physically impossible to invest resources coming from the Obolo fund”. In fact, “the collection of the Pence every year, on average, was around 45/50 million euros. Of these, every month the Secretariat of State had to transfer, as a contribution, 5 million euros to APSA for the needs of the Curia (for a total of 60 million per year). This contribution then increased to 8 million a month thanks to Cardinal Pell’s reforms (for a total of 96 million a year) “. In addition to this, “the Secretariat of State supported part of the expenses of Vatican Radio, the total of which amounted to about 33 million euros a year, as well as those of the diplomatic missions of the Holy See, for a budget of about 30 million”. “So what was left of the Pence? Nothing! ”, He added. “This was the reason why investments were not only possible, as historically carried out, but necessary to contribute to the needs of the Curia and certainly not supported by the Obolo! – Becciu concluded – These are the mathematical reasons why the accusatory assumption is completely denied ”.
PERLASCA AND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE CIVIL PARTY – Finally, the key witness of the monsignor trial, Alberto Perlasca, former director of the Administrative Office, asked to appear as a civil party against Becciu, for the crime of subornation of witnesses, since the cardinal turned to the bishop of Como Monsignor Oscar Cantoni to push Perlasca to retract, and against the other defendants Fabrizio Tirabassi, Gianluigi Torzi, Enrico Crasso and Nicola Squillace for fraud, having “misled” him in the signing of the agreement on 1,000 actions to control the London Palace. The Court reserved. The request to become a civil party was delivered this morning to the chancellery to the Vatican Court and notified to the defenses, as illustrated at the beginning of the 14th hearing by the lawyer who assists Msgr. Perlasca, lawyer, Alessandro Sammarco. The defense lawyers opposed the application, judging it late and generic, as well as for the position of Perlasca, which was dismissed after being investigated for the same offenses.