What do we know about the Vatican trial of the century?

 | 
09/12/2023
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For the first time in history, a cardinal has stood trial before a jury made up of lay people.

Pope Francis has made all the necessary changes to Vatican law to make the trial as transparent as possible. But this has had consequences.

ANDREA GAGLIARDUCCI
Journalist, ACI Stampa

This is imprudent from many points of view despite the fact that Cardinal Becciu is a minor party in this process. But the imprudence is not directed just towards the cardinal. It is about the whole process. Because, on the one hand, you have a cardinal who can reveal papal secrets. And we know that the Pope told him at one point that he could tell these secrets, although the cardinal himself was worried about sharing them.

This trial has certainly provided an opportunity to enter into a previously little known judicial area of the Vatican system.

FAUSTO GASPARRONI
Journalist, Agencia ANSA

There are some interesting little known stories that have come to light.
For example, the Holy See had moved for the release of religious people kidnapped in war zones or by radical Islamist formations. And this is something that never been revealed before.

Cardinal Becciu previously held the 3rd highest ranking position in the Vatican. And the court's investigations revealed how the Holy See had tried to secure the release of a Colombian nun who had been kidnapped in Africa and was released four years later. The Vatican's involvement in this release was just one example of information that had not been previously revealed.

FAUSTO GASPARRONI
Journalist, Agencia ANSA

It turns out that Church donations were also paying the fees of an American lawyer who was defending the Holy See in pedophilia trials in the United States.

The trial revealed how the Vatican's internal system of checks and balances have failed to stop suspicious financial operations through the Secretariat of State.

ANDREA GAGLIARDUCCI
Journalist, ACI Stampa

The most important thing, in my opinion, is that the Secretariat of State was considered not a governing body but rather as a branch of the enterprise in some way. Then we have the paradox of a state organ—that is the Vatican bank—not only refusing the central government a loan, an aid that they had requested, but they even reported it to the supreme authority. This creates a problem at the state level.

The interviewed journalists, Andrea and Fausto, followed nearly every step of the case that revealed that problems at the state level went beyond the accusations leveled against Cardinal Becciu. Other Vatican employees were also accused of misusing or outright defrauding Vatican funds.

The so-called Vatican trial of the century has not only exposed weaknesses in the Vatican's internal and judicial procedures. It has also opened the door to making sure checks and balances are in place in the future.

JRB
TR: KG/AT

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