BECCIU. THE PITIFUL – FALSE – NARRATION OF THE “BETRAYED POPE”.
27 Settembre 2020
Dear friends and enemies of Stilum Curiae, I see that in the newspapers – or at least in some of them – they are seeking to construct a narrative in which the poor reigning Pontiff is trying to clean house in Vatican finances and other matters, and who has sadly been betrayed….This would all be very poignant and edifying, if it were true; but in reality it is not so – and even in newspapers that are usually well-informed and that are certainly not mainstream we are finding reconstructions and retellings that are the result of personal grudges that have never subsided but which still give a deceptive impression. For those who follow Vatican affairs carefully and dispassionately, quite a few points emerge from this story.
First point. It’s true that at the beginning of his pontificate Bergoglio tried to clarify the jumbled financial situation of the Vatican. He signed a Motu Proprio with which he entrusted all financial matters to a single body, the Secretariat of the Economy, and he put Cardinal George Pell in charge of it, giving him full power to act. As a good Australian rugby player, Pell threw himself headlong into the enterprise. Obviously, he encountered all the difficulties and objections of those who did not want to give up their power and their money: the Secretary of State, along with the Economic Section, the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), Propaganda Fide with its independent budget, and so on and so forth. And what did the Pope do? In his conversations with Pell he told him: don’t favor anyone, keep on going. And immediately afterwards the Pope signed a rescript with which he satisfied Pell’s opponents, taking a piece of power away from him. Pell was embittered, and perhaps he still is, by this infinite series of little betrayals perpetrated by his Superior. And so the tiny Vatican jungle has remained what it was – a jungle. That was the time to clean house, but the attempt failed, and this is solely the Pope’s responsibility.
Second point. As Becciu has stated in the past, he was accountable to his superiors for his work. Now, for a Sostituto to the Secretary of State the real Superior is the Pope. In general, the Secretary of State sees the Pope far less frequently than the Sostituto. From what we knew of the past years, in unsuspecting times, the Pope amply used Becciu to carry out all sorts of projects. Becciu aspired to a red hat. The Pope did not want to give it to him; he wanted to give it to Cagliari. And in the end Becciu obtained the red hat, along with the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints.
Here below you will also find an article by Lucetta Scaraffia, who spent a long time in the Vatican chambers and who is highly trustworthy in our opinion. But we believe that beyond this there are other considerations to make. The first is psychological and behavioral. This Pontiff, whose sudden and very strong mood swings with very strong verbal indications are a secret to no one in the Vatican, by now has a little list of decapitations to his credit, both small and large; indeed he has set a record. We would like to recall the officials of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith who were dismissed for no reason, the Grand Master of the Order of Malta Matthew Festing, General Domenico Giani, and still others, and now his most faithful servant Becciu.
“Betrayed” is what some newspapers are saying. But who are we kidding? This is the Pontificate in which within the Vatican it is known that every word can be reported and cause problems; in which telephones – and email – are all controlled; in which cardinals come with their keys to connect to the internet, bypassing the Vatican network; and they want us to believe that Number One, who both in Buenos Aires and here in Rome has ears everywhere, didn’t know that already as a Nuncio in Africa Cardinal Becciu had a passion – perhaps innocent and successful – for business and enterprise? Rather, once again, we see that as soon as any of his most trusted men (McCarrick is the biggest example) are rightly or wrongly involved in scandals that risk becoming public, the reaction is immediate and absolute, against any hypothesis of minimum justice. Enjoy reading the article by Lucetta Scaraffia, published by quotidiano.net and reprinted by il Sismografo.
Ever since Benedict XVI tried to clean up the Vatican Bank, the scandals began. And Cathoics remain disoriented. I am a Catholic who is living with pain and anguish through these days that some in the media are trying to pass off as “a great house cleaning in the Vatican.” As someone has noted, in reality what is happening is more similar to the great political purges of the totalitarian regimes than a serious and considered appeal to justice. For many years now, ever since Benedict XVI began to attempt a reform of IOR, the Vatican Bank, there have been scandals, leaks, sudden arrests, and farce trials. It is difficult to understand what really happened behind this barrage of “cleaning operations.”
In addition to all this there are persistent rumors of possible blackmails based on sexual scandals, more often than not involving homosexuality and pedophilia, which poison the life and work of the Vatican hierarchies. We recall that up until a few years ago, all bishops – and I stress all – were required to cover up sexual scandals. These were cover-up operations that – if they were to emerge today – would provoke serious earthquakes up to the highest levels. Let’s try to form a hypothesis: if, as many suspect, the IOR has served for decades as a front for cleaning up dirty money from criminal organizations, it is unthinkable that the latter would accept without a word that such a resource would be taken from them. Hence the logical hypothesis, precisely, that these criminal organizations would seek to prevent the desired clean up by threatening to make this subversive activity of the Vatican Bank public to the faithful around the world. It is easy to imagine what a devastating effect this publicity would have on the life of the Church.
All this perhaps explains the infinite difficulties faced by every attempt at Vatican financial reform. And in fact attempts at financial reform are repeated without any real effect from the point of view of cleaning up, but each time they produce repercussions and revelations that are useful in the struggles of the internal factions. Every time someone is defenestrated, a new culprit is placed on the index, and thus his ascent is abruptly interrupted. Thus there is a legitimate suspicion: that the operations of financial clean up serve only to establish new balances of power and to kill off opponents. In order to do this, the support of the media is essential. In fact, it is they who spread the news and create the culprit, who is thus condemned a priori and without escape, without any possibility of defending himself. And so there is hardly ever a real trial, and if it does happen the process has very little credibility – the rules of Vatican justice are always changing, and one has the sense that they are more pro forma than anything else – so in fact it is almost always the press that in reality establishes who is guilty.
In this case too, which began months ago with allegations of embezzlement regarding the acquisition of a palace in London, the scandal broke out immediately, thanks to the timely sending of photos of the suspects to the media. Having found a scapegoat – the Commandant of the Vatican Gendarmerie Domenico Giani, forced to resign due to a news leak – he was consigned to the hasty condemnation of the media, for which the accused was fired, despite there being no trial.
And now, although it has been presented to the newspapers as an example, a very hasty justice has now fallen upon Cardinal Becciu. Without a trial, without giving him any possibility of defending himself, he has been deprived of the role and office of cardinal, with the only effect of leaving the faithful confused, and not only them. But we do not know if he is guilty, and in the absence of a trial we will never know. We know one thing, however: Becciu has decided to defend himself with his head held high, even turning to the media to give his reasons, without having recourse to what is the most commonly used weapon in the Vatican: blackmail.
An authority at his level, who had responsibility for resolving many controversial situations by “getting his hands dirty” for the Pope, must certainly not lack adequate material. I am personally certain that he has also been made to pay for having dared to raise questions about Capuchin Father Giovanni Salonia, who was about to become a bishop, who was accused of sexual abuse of several religious sisters. It was a crime for which the friar was not found guilty only because the statute of limitations had expired. As we can see, courage and sincerity do not pay in the Church, but perhaps in the eyes of the faithful they are virtues that are still appreciated.
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