Saturday, 17 October 2020

Catholic Corruption News - What a Carry On At The Vatican!

Cecilia Marogna / Cardinal Angelo Becciu
Woman arrested amid Vatican financial scandal claims she worked in ‘parallel diplomacy’ | News | LifeSite

The mystery over the sudden sacking by the Pope of Cardinal Angelo Bacciu, amidst rumours of financial impropriety and misuse of Vatican funds, deepened yesterday with the announcement that a close female associate of his, Cecilia Marogna, 39 had been arrested in Milan and charged with embezzlement.

Until his abrupt sacking, Bacciu had been effectively number two in the Vatican; one of the few members of the Pope's inner cabinet with direct access to him without needing to make an appointment.

Marogana had been employed by Bacciu as a “security advisor”. According to this report in the Catholic-leaning LifeSite:
Vatican investigators allege that Marogna, who received €500,000 ($588,000 US) from the Holy See for “secret” humanitarian works in Africa and Asia, used almost half the money to buy handbags and other luxury goods. Marogna was arrested by the Italian financial police after the Vatican issued an international arrest warrant through Interpol.


According to Il Messagero:
Marogna, who would be in possession of a letter signed by Becciu that accredits her as a trusted person, would have received the money in several tranches between December 2018 and July 2019 on the current account of Logsic doo, the company, based in Ljubljana [Slovenia], of which she is the administrator. All payments with the purpose of "contribution for humanitarian mission". Of those approximately 500,000 euros, however, nearly 200,000 would have been spent on clothes, restaurants and luxurious accessories (among other things, 12,000 euros at Poltrona Frau, 2,200 from Prada, 1,400 from Tod's, 8,000 from Chanel).

Moreover, Logsic itself would have turned out to be a "ghost" company, so much so that in the Ljubljana building indicated as the headquarters, the Hyenas found only a post office box - shared with five other companies - and a closed office without even the name plate. The transfers in question would have been signed when Becciu was already succeeded as Substitute for General Affairs by Msgr. Edgar Pena Parra, but it would have been the former prefect for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints who asked Monsignor Alberto Perlasca, at the time head of the administrative office of the SDS (now under investigation in the Vatican investigation), to honor the agreements taken with the managing director of Logsic.

Marogna, who presented herself as an expert in diplomatic relations and parallel diplomacy, would have come into contact with the cardinal in 2016, proposing herself as a mediator on international crises of various kinds. Becciu, after having leaked in the light of the news that he felt "cheated" and ready to file a complaint against the lady, also specified, through his lawyer, the lawyer Fabio Viglione, that "the contacts with Cecilia Marogna exclusively concern institutional issues ".

As for her, she claimed "the result of having built a network of relations in Africa and the Middle East to protect Nunciatures and Missions from environmental risks and terrorist cells", explaining that "the funds in Slovenia were a guarantee for operations in Africa ". And on spending on luxury goods he clarified to the hyenas: "It was a bit of a return of the advances that I had used as my resources ..." On the other hand, "I carry out a sensitive, particular profession, it is not that we pay by bank transfer or withholding tax ...", and, in the "two years before" the transfers, "I advanced resources for 220 thousand pounds .. . "

(Translated from the Italian by GoogleTranslate)

Maronga denied any improper relationship with Cardinal Bacciu, telling the Italian newspaper, Domani:
I received money from him because I am an expert in geopolitics and parallel diplomacy. I have created a network of diplomatic relations for the Holy See. I used that money to do the job they asked me to do: create relationships and contacts in difficult countries. I did reports and analyzes, as long as it was paid. I'm not a scammer.

I had a letter from the cardinal to work on behalf of the Vatican. Bags and luxury items? The sums I received also included my fees. I'm not a missionary, I don't work for free.

(Translated from the Italian by GoogleTranslate)

Maronga is, like Cardinal Bacciu, a Sardinia. According to the Sardinian Post this is the first time a Milanese court has had to deal with an extradition to the Vatican City (an independent state). Meanwhile, Maronga is being held in the Milanese prison of San Vittore.

This is just the latest of a series of scandals concerning alleged financial impropriety and misappropriation of Vatican funds by Cardinal Bacciu. After his sudden, unexplained sacking by the Pope, an Italian newspaper has alleged that he used Vatican funds to:
  • Transferred a large sum of Vatican money to a charity administered by one brother.
  • Patronised the carpentry firm of another brother
  • Patronised a food-and-drink company owned by a third brother.


Becciu is also alleged to have interfered with the financial clean-up being undertaken by Cardinal Pell when he was financial controller at the Vatican, by unilaterally and without the permission of Pope Francis, cancelling a planned audit the moment Pell departed for Australia to answer chanrges of child sexual abuse for which he was convicted but later acquitted on apeal, then persuading the Pope to authorise the cancellation ex post facto. He is also alleged to have invested a large amount of Vatican money in a failing private Italian hospital in which his neice had an interest, and in a Central London property deal.

In all probability, with the extradition process likely to take some time, this scandal is likely to have legs, with more revelations to come...







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