Cardinal Pell: The mystery of the millions of dollars sent from the Vatican to Australia

The Australian cardinal, acquitted of abuse charges, gave an extensive interview to the National Catholic Register.  

Newsroom (21/12/2021 11:30, Gaudium Press) Late last year, data provided by the Australian Financial Reporting and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) put financiers around the world on alert, and Catholics too: some $1.4 million was transferred from the Vatican to Australia.

But after ‘cross-checking the accounts’ and making revisions, without due penance, AUSTRAC declared that it was not that huge amount, but only a few million, which is explained by the normal flows of money between the Holy See and the Church there. However, even if it were much less, there is still an amount that begs explanation and has aroused interest.

Mysteries can be adorned, or if they have intrinsic force it is enough to present: Msgr Perlasca, a former official of the Secretariat of State and now the main witness against Cardinal Becciu, claims that this Cardinal authorised the sending of two million three hundred thousand Australian dollars for the defence of Cardinal Pell, once indicted for false accusations of sexual abuse. However, the Australian cardinal informed the National Catholic Register that “we certainly haven’t received anything.”

And now Cardinal Pell is challenging Cardinal Becciu to say or show where that money went. “I have a question for Cardinal Becciu: Could you just tell us for what purpose the money was sent?”

In fact, all kinds of rumours are running about these matters, one of them, reproduced in important media, is that the Vatican money would have been used to promote the accusations against the cardinal.

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On the financial review, “there was resistance in the Secretariat of State. But if the Auditor of Accounts or we of the Secretariat for the Economy had been able to intervene earlier, we would have saved much, much money intended for the London Palace and also for other places,” Cardinal Pell said last November, according to La Stampa .

Relations between the Secretariat of State and the Secretariat for Economic Affairs are strained. And now it emerges that the Secretariat of State has allocated 2.3 million Australian dollars (1.65 million US dollars) for Cardinal Pell’s defence, which did not reach him. “There is no doubt that 2,300,000 [Australian dollars] were sent from the Vatican to Australia. Cardinal Becciu has acknowledged this,” Cardinal Pell told the Register. This information was obtained by the Cardinal from the videos of Msgr Perlasca’s statements in the ongoing process at the Vatican.

But Cardinal Pell himself has already made his enquiries, which prompted even more questions: “We asked the [Australian] Bishops’ Conference, and they haven’t received anything. We certainly haven’t received anything. So I have a question for Cardinal Becciu: ‘Could you tell us for what purpose the money was sent?’ And if it has nothing to do with me or for completely innocent purposes, well, I would be satisfied and we can get on with our lives. “

 

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