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Rome Reports

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Angelo Becciu, an experienced diplomat who knows the secrets of the Vatican

When Cardinal Angelo Becciu was a nuncio in Havana, Benedict XVI asked him to come work in Rome.

He was born in the Italian region of Sardinia 72 years ago. He was ordained a priest at the age of 24.

June 2018
“I entered the seminary because as a child I dreamed of being a priest. I liked what priests did, how the young priests helped in our parishes. In the seminary, one grows and a moment of crisis arrives. 'Should I continue or not?' You realize what it means to be a priest. It means giving up your life.”

After studying Canon Law, he began his diplomatic career at the Vatican. The year was 1984. He went through complicated and important nunciatures. Some of these were in the Central African Republic, United Kingdom, France, the United States and Cuba.  

In Cuba, Msgr. Becciu was deeply impressed by the heroism of the priests.

March 2012
“I truly admire the work of these priests. It's work that's done quietly and discreetly. They can't take part in large external initiatives, but they have a supernatural spirit that doesn't shy away from sacrifice. They have a desire to give and to care for the poor; and this makes them heroes.”

Benedict XVI appointed him Substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State. He was below only Tarcisio Bertone and the pope, making him number three in the Vatican, and the one in charge of internal affairs. He became the supervisor of all internal departments and was the one who managed the Vatican's reserved funds, around 700 million euros. These funds include donations from Peter's Pence. During that time, he faced several unprecedented situations.

For example, he had the two Vatileaks cases, when Vatican personnel leaked information to the press. The most difficult to handle was the first incident, since it involved the papal butler passing documentation from the pope's desk to the press.

There was also the resignation of Benedict XVI and the organization of the conclave.

In 2018, Pope Francis appointed him cardinal and prefect for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. He was thus present at the canonization of Oscar Romero and Paul VI.

When the pope was criticized for betraying the Church's doctrine, he said the following.

March 2018
“He is calm. To confront this, he uses the Jesuit spirit and the third degree of asceticism: that of being indifferent to some things. But he is a human being, so he also suffers. Some criticisms reach the core of his being. Like him betraying Church doctrine... this is not true. He does not accept this, and it is the most serious accusation that he can receive.”

With his resignation he became the third cardinal to lose his rights during Pope Francis' pontificate. 

Javier Romero