Vatican priest arrested

Vatileaks scandal:
Vatican priest arrested in hunt
For the Holy See’s enemy within

Leaks of confidential documents from retired Pope Benedict XVI’s papers in 2012
led to the arrest and trial of a papal butler and a Vatican computer technician
Frances d'Emilio

Published in: www.Independent.co.uk. News›World›Europe

(Note: Massage parlors where priests pay for sex, Flourishing Red light establishments, Europe’s Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 8.37.28 pmbiggest gay sauna etc. at the Vatican headquarters, are the latest leaks. That brings us to the conclusion that the whole church — Cardinals, Bishops, Priests and Lay people — are fully involved in this sexy, financial scandal. So with good reason we can call ourselves a Church of (“Sancti Peccathori”) Holy Sinners. We heard it said in the 2014 session of the Synod. Therefore imagine how correct was Pope Francis when he described himself   at the very outset of his pontificate as “I am a sinner”. You have to put a thief to catch a thief, it is said. By hook or crook, by accident or providential design, God has placed a humble, holy person as the servant of servants in his Church today. By  calling himself a “Sinner” to start his mission  Fancis  has  taught the whole church one unforgettable lesson, namely: “No one born of man and woman has any right to point an accusing finger at any one of his brothers or sisters.” Yet how is it that many of our Synod Fathers have miserably failed to grasp this central message? What else did they proclaim to the whole world at the Synod just concluded, when they denied access to the divorced to communion (a betraying Judas and a denying Peter were at the last supper) and refused to extend a welcoming language, hand, to gay people or to those who have different sexual orientation which is not due to any fault of their own? Oh tempora! Oh mores! Oh the justice and morality of the so-called Holy People in the Catholic Church! james kottoor)

A priest and a woman who had served on a financial reform commission set up by Pope Francis have been arrested in the probe of yet another leak of confidential information and documents, the Vatican said today. 

A statement from the Holy See’s press office said that Vatican prosecutors upheld the arrests of the two, who had been interrogated over the weekend. 

Vatican-owned properties in Rome are operating as seedy saunas and massage parlours where priests pay for sex, according to the latest in a series of leaked reports to embarrass the Church.

It is also claimed that Vatican officials are allowing buildings to be rented out at peppercorn rents as favours to powerful colleagues and turning a blind eye to shady property deals, as well as allowing addresses to be used as red-light establishments.Among the properties mentioned in the document , made public by a Vatican mole, are premises in two streets close to the Italian Parliament and a solarium near Piazza Barberini, according to press reports.

One particular Vatican department, the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, has been highlighted in the list. It owns hundreds of high-value properties in central Rome, worth hundreds of millions of euros.

                 Two years ago it emerged the Vatican had purchased a €23m (£16m) share of a Rome apartment block, 2 Via Carducci, which housed the Europa Multiclub, Europe’s biggest gay sauna. Tales of visiting priests were legion, and a section of the sauna’s website promoting special “bear nights” included a video of a hirsute man stripping down and changing into a priest’s outfit. 

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Cardinal Bertone was also accused of using money from a charity to refurbish his penthouse (Getty)

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who held the Vatican’s purse strings under the previous Pope Emeritus Benedict, was said to have been behind the purchase of the block of flats in 2008.It was also alleged in this month’s leaks that Cardinal Bertone used €200,000 from a medical charity to refurbish his penthouse flat. Meanwhile, sources quoted by Ansa news agency said that Pope Francis hoped to close the leak investigation and draw a line under the affair before the Vatican’s special Jubilee Year, which begins on 8 December. Some observers believe the leaks are part of a campaign to undermine his effort to reform the Curia

Leaks of confidential documents from retired Pope Benedict XVI’s Papers in 2012 led to the arrest and trial of a papal butler and a Vatican computer technician.

What the Pope's  Butler saw, aid  arrested over Vatican leaks

Vatican police seized Pope Benedict's butler in connection with a series of embarrassing leaks on alleged corruption, infighting and mismanagement that have emerged about the Holy See over the past year.The arrest of Paolo Gabriele came after the decision by the Pontiff last month to set up a special commission of cardinals to smoke out the mole responsible for the highly publicised revelations.

                 "The inquiry carried out by Vatican police… allowed them to identify someone in possession of confidential documents," the Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told journalists. Senior officials had recently railed against leaking sensitive documents  as "a criminal act".News of the papal butler's arrest brought more drama to a week that has already seen the scandal-struck Vatican bank embroiled in fresh controversy. Rising tensions over plans to make the institution conform to international standards of transparency were blamed for Thursday's sacking of its chief Ettore Gotti Tedeschi.

                  The respected financier was ousted after months of internal battles following his insistence on applying the anti-money laundering rules demanded by the European Commission. Mr Gotti Tedeschi, 67, an expert on financial ethics, was put in charge of the bank – also known as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR) – in 2009, specifically to clean-up its reputation.His plan to introduce transparency was at first agreed by key figures at the Vatican, including the powerful secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. But when Mr Gotti Tedeschi insisted that the anti-corruption regulations should be retroactive, Cardinal Bertone and other key figures are thought to have turned against him.

                     "They gave him the job knowing that he had a reputation for integrity," said Robert Mickens, the Rome correspondent  for The Tablet newspaper. "But they also assumed that as a member of Opus Dei, he would not rock the boat. The trouble is, some people do have moral and ethical standards and are prepared to stick to them."As to why senior Vatican figures are opposed to the rules being retroactive, well, you can draw your own conclusions."

                     Mr Gotti Tedeschi, made a brief but ominous statement: "I'd prefer not to comment, otherwise I would have some very unpleasant things to say. Just have patience." Mr Lombardi said: "The board passed a unanimous no-confidence vote against the president… and believes the action is important to maintain the vitality of the bank."Some Italian press reports suggested Mr Gotti Tedeschi was ousted for allegedly omitting data in wire transfers from an Italian account. However, when Rome magistrates investigated the suspicious money transfers , Mr Gotti Tedeschi collaborated promptly with the judges. Some observers have suggested that this openness appeared to have angered Vatican figures more than the actual accusations

                      It identified the woman as Francesca Chaouqui and the priest as Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda. The priest is still a Vatican employee, while Chaouqui had served on a now-defunct commission that had been set up by Pope Francis in 2013 as part of his drive to reform the Holy See’s finances A Vatican spokesman said Vallejo Balda was being held in a jail cell in Vatican City. Chaouqui was allowed to go free because she cooperated in the probe, the Vatican said. 

While Pope Francis is intent on modernising the Vatican and making its finances more transparent, the arrests were the latest confirmation that scandal and intrigue still swirl through the largely closed world of the tiny city-state’s bureaucracy. Current and past papacy efforts to clean up the Vatican have found resistance in the Holy See’s entrenched bureaucracy. Leaks of confidential documents from retired Pope Benedict XVI’s papers in 2012 led to the arrest and trial of a papal butler and a Vatican computer technician.

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 What the Pope's  Butler saw, aid  arrested over Vatican leaks

Vatican police seized Pope Benedict's butler in connection with a series of embarrassing leaks on alleged corruption, infighting and mismanagement that have emerged about the Holy See over the past year.The arrest of Paolo Gabriele came after the decision by the Pontiff last month to set up a special commission of cardinals to smoke out the mole responsible for the highly publicised revelations.

                 "The inquiry carried out by Vatican police… allowed them to identify someone in possession of confidential documents," the Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told journalists. Senior officials had recently railed against leaking sensitive documents  as "a criminal act".News of the papal butler's arrest brought more drama to a week that has already seen the scandal-struck Vatican bank embroiled in fresh controversy. Rising tensions over plans to make the institution conform to international standards of transparency were blamed for Thursday's sacking of its chief Ettore Gotti Tedeschi.

                  The respected financier was ousted after months of internal battles following his insistence on applying the anti-money laundering rules demanded by the European Commission. Mr Gotti Tedeschi, 67, an expert on financial ethics, was put in charge of the bank – also known as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR) – in 2009, specifically to clean-up its reputation.His plan to introduce transparency was at first agreed by key figures at the Vatican, including the powerful secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. But when Mr Gotti Tedeschi insisted that the anti-corruption regulations should be retroactive, Cardinal Bertone and other key figures are thought to have turned against him.

                     "They gave him the job knowing that he had a reputation for integrity," said Robert Mickens, the Rome correspondent  for The Tablet newspaper. "But they also assumed that as a member of Opus Dei, he would not rock the boat. The trouble is, some people do have moral and ethical standards and are prepared to stick to them."As to why senior Vatican figures are opposed to the rules being retroactive, well, you can draw your own conclusions."

                     Mr Gotti Tedeschi, made a brief but ominous statement: "I'd prefer not to comment, otherwise I would have some very unpleasant things to say. Just have patience." Mr Lombardi said: "The board passed a unanimous no-confidence vote against the president… and believes the action is important to maintain the vitality of the bank."Some Italian press reports suggested Mr Gotti Tedeschi was ousted for allegedly omitting data in wire transfers from an Italian account. However, when Rome magistrates investigated the suspicious money transfers , Mr Gotti Tedeschi collaborated promptly with the judges. Some observers have suggested that this openness appeared to have angered Vatican figures more than the actual accusations

                      It identified the woman as Francesca Chaouqui and the priest as Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda. The priest is still a Vatican employee, while Chaouqui had served on a now-defunct commission that had been set up by Pope Francis in 2013 as part of his drive to reform the Holy See’s finances A Vatican spokesman said Vallejo Balda was being held in a jail cell in Vatican City. Chaouqui was allowed to go free because she cooperated in the probe, the Vatican said. 

While Pope Francis is intent on modernising the Vatican and making its finances more transparent, the arrests were the latest confirmation that scandal and intrigue still swirl through the largely closed world of the tiny city-state’s bureaucracy. Current and past papacy efforts to clean up the Vatican have found resistance in the Holy See’s entrenched bureaucracy. Leaks of confidential documents from retired Pope Benedict XVI’s papers in 2012 led to the arrest and trial of a papal butler and a Vatican computer technician

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                    Francesca Chaouqui has been released from custody because she cooperated in the probe (Corbis)

“One must keep in mind that the leaking of confidential information and documents is a crime” under a law enacted in the first months of Francis’s papacy, the Vatican statement said. Last week, Italian news reports said the Vatican police were investigating to see who had tampered with the computer of the top Holy See’s auditor, Libero Milone, who was appointed a few months ago by Pope Francis. The Vatican declined to say if that incident was related to the two arrests. 

                     Later this week, two books by Italian journalists about the Vatican’s murky world of finances are being published, described by the Vatican as “fruit of a grave betrayal of the trust given by the Pope”.Without specifying if the latest arrests were linked to those books, the Vatican said Holy See prosecutors are weighing “further measures, involving, if it is the case, international cooperation”. 

                     Some Vatican-watchers have theorised that Benedict decided to be the first pope in hundreds of centuries to resign largely because he was dismayed by the intrigue in the Vatican, and felt that in his advancing years he wouldn’t be up to dealing with the  scandals.

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