The Vatican surprisingly announced the withdrawal of Italian Cardinal Beccia. The move was not officially justified. Becciu is allegedly involved in dubious financial transactions.
Author: Johannes Reichart, ARD-Studio Rome
It is explosive news: last night the Vatican press office announced that Pope Francis had dismissed Italian Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Beccia from the office of Prefect of the Congregation for Canonization. At the same time, yesterday the pope accepted the resignation of a 72-year-old church representative from all rights associated with cardinal dignity, the statement said. The Vatican’s move was not officially justified.
The cardinals are considered close advisers to the pope and elect the head of the Catholic Church. It is extremely rare in the Catholic Church for a cardinal to be deprived of his rights and privileges. Most recently, American Theodore McCarrick and Scot Keith Patrick O’Brien lost their cardinal dignity in 2013 – both for sexual crimes.
Real estate investments have resulted in millions in losses
The now deposed Cardinal Becciu was appointed Cardinal by Francis in September 2018. He was considered a close confidant of the Pope. The background to the now drastic measures against Beccia could be his involvement in dubious financial transactions in the Vatican. Since 2019, the Papal Public Prosecutor’s Office has been investigating him for the purchase of a London luxury real estate project in 2014 and 2018, which allegedly caused millions of losses to the Vatican.
At that time, Becciu, as an alternate in the State Secretariat of the Holy See, was centrally responsible for many official matters. The Italian media state that Beccius’ family members in Sardinia may have been involved in financial speculation.