Vatican Head Of Security Resigns Following Raids And Growing Financial Scandal
Catholicism church center of controversy on investments in London real estate
The Vatican's head of security has resigned following the escalating financial scandal over large investments in London real estate, according to reports.
Domenico Giani, who was the commander of the Vatican gendarmes and chief of the pope’s personal security detail, resigned following an unprecedented internal raid on the offices of the Vatican’s Secretariat of State and the Financial Information Authority.
Vatican security under Giani’s authority seized electronic devices and documents during the raid.
Soon after, five Vatican employees were suspended on allegations of financial wrongdoing, which involved dealings in London’s Chelsea district amounting to an eye-watering $350 million.
The following day, an order signed by Giani was leaked to the press, which reportedly infuriated Pope Francis.
The Vatican’s announcement of Giani’s retirement did, however, stated he “bears no subjective responsibility.
But the release of the confidential report was nonetheless “prejudicial to the dignity of the people involved and to the image of the Gendarmerie."
Giani started his career as an Italian secret service official, later being promoted to the Vatican gendarmerie as vice-inspector in 1999.
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Over two decades, he worked as Vatican’s supreme law enforcement officer.
Allegations that Giani had embezzled funds totaling some $160,000 meant for the Vatican police for home improvements to his private apartment.
But many critics of the Vatican believed that he was untouchable because “he knew where all the bodies were buried,” Breitbart News reported.
At the center of the controversy is Italian Cardinal Angelo Becciu, who oversaw the offices of the Secretariat of State during the period under investigation.
One of the five Vatican staff caught up in the raids was former secretary and longtime aide to Becciu, who resides in the Vatican’s Santa Marta residence, Monsignor Mauro Carlino.
Cardinal Becciu has been accused of blocking investigations initiated by Cardinal George Pell into financial improprieties.
Becciu authorized Vatican investments in London properties made in 2014 and 2018, according to the Financial Times.
Becciu also reportedly obstructed a proposed external audit of all Vatican departments in 2016, to be carried out by the accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCooper.