Top Vatican cardinal resigns, relinquishes rights as cardinal
VATICAN CITY, September 24, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) ― A cardinal closely associated with the Theodore McCarrick scandal has resigned from his post and given up his rights as a cardinal.
According to a tersely worded note from the Vatican released minutes ago, “the Holy Father has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu from his role as the Prefect of the Congregation of the Cause of the Saints and from the rights connected with the Cardinalate.”
In August 2018, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò stated that Becciu “knew in every detail the situation regarding Cardinal McCarrick” and his reputation for homosexual misconduct.
In 2019, London's Financial Times reported that investments made by Becciu were at the heart of a Vatican investigation which ultimately led to an October 1, 2019 raid by Vatican police on the Vatican’s own Secretariat of State, after which five Vatican employees were suspended. An internal memo about these individuals was leaked to the press, leading to the resignation of its signatory, the Vatican Gendarmerie Corps’ chief, Inspector General Domenico Giani.
Reliably informed sources say recent financial scandals are "clearly connected" with news this evening of #PopeFrancis' decision to accept resignation of Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciù as prefect of Congregation for Causes of Saints and rights connected with the Cardinalate. pic.twitter.com/7k0eDWJ6B7— Edward Pentin (@EdwardPentin) September 24, 2020
“$200m held in Swiss bank accounts controlled by the Secretariat of State was transferred to a Luxembourg investment fund called Athena Capital, ” the Financial Times reported at the time.
“Athena is owned by the Italian London-based financier Raffaele Mincione through his company WRM,” it continued.
“Athena had bought the Chelsea building for £129m in 2012 and then sold a minority stake in the project in 2014 to a fund it managed on behalf of the Vatican as a sole client. In 2018, the Vatican bought out the remaining equity in 60 Sloane Avenue from Athena. Mr Mincione’s vehicle earned around £130m from the project overall.”
The London financial newspaper said that the Vatican had “declined to comment” about its ownership of the apartment building or the reasons for the raid upon the Secretary of State. However, Financial Times asserted that Becciu, the Substitute (deputy) of the Secretariat of State between 2011 and 2018, had “personally authorized” the investment.
Becciu has also recently fallen afoul of the powerful German contingent of the Knights of Malta, to which order the cardinal was a Special Delegate of the Vatican.