ANSA reports that the London property at the centre of a Vatican trial into alleged mismanagement of the Holy See’s financial affairs has been a “double Via Crucis,” a key witness told the court Thursday. The trial into alleged graft and negligence in managing the Vatican’s property portfolio includes the purchase of the luxury apartment on London’s Sloane Avenue.
Among those on trial is Cardinal Angelo Becciu, the highest ranking Vatican official to be tried for financial crimes. Among the witnesses for the defence announced recently is the Substitute for General Affairs, mons. Edgar Pena Parra, the president of Vatican bank IOR, Jean-Baptiste de Franssu, and Cardinal Becciu’s brother, Antonino.
Sardinian-born Becciu, 74, had an audience with France at the end of November after which he said he pope had encouraged him in the case, contradicting what Sardinian cardinal was last year heard on a wiretap saying: Francis “wants me dead”. In four and a half hours of testimony Thursday, Substitute for General Affairs Monsignor Pena Parra said the Sloane Avenue case “was indeed a Way of the Cross! Indeed, we doubled the Way of the Cross, because the Lord fell three times, we fell six times”.
Among other things, confirming the contents of his ‘memorial’ of 2 June 2020, Pena Papa reiterated that Becciu’s former secretaty, Msgr. Alberto Perlasca, did not have the power to sign contracts and that there was ‘clientelism and favouritism’ in the offices.