During Trial, Letters Exchanged Between Pope Francis and Becciu Revealed

On January 13, in the trial of the case against Cardinal Angelo Becciu,  correspondence was made public which had taken place between Pope Francis and the Cardinal accused of corruption, embezzlement, fraud and abuse of power.

Newsroom (20/01/2023 18:00, Gaudium Press ) Cardinal Angelo Becciu accused Pope Francis of partiality by receiving Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, one of the prosecution witnesses, and the pope has apologized. The situation came to light through the revelation of letters exchanged between the two, made public on 13 January, during the last session of the trial in which Becciu and nine other defendants are accused of corruption, embezzlement, fraud and abuse of power.

The focus of the letter is Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, a prosecution witness who, before the trial session began, warned the press that she would reveal how the cardinal had distanced her from the Holy Father and how the Holy Father then called her back. “I have fought alongside him for transparency,” she said.

In July 2016, Francesca Chaoqui, who was an adviser to the body set up to monitor the Holy See’s accounts and improve its performance, was sentenced to ten months in prison for collaborating with Father Lucio Ángel Vallejo Valda in leaking confidential documents.

Becciu: “profound dismay”

In his letter, sent to Pope Francis on 19 August 2019, Becciu says he is dissatisfied with the meeting Pope Francis had with Francesca Chaoqui. He expresses his “profound dismay” at the publication of the photos in which she was allowed to greet the pontiff during an audience:

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With yesterday’s hand kiss, I was publicly disowned and you will gain more strength to continue demolishing me with all the satanic means of which you are capable. With yesterday’s gesture, Holy Father, you broke your much-proclaimed commitment to neutrality in the process,” the cardinal wrote.

Referring to the fact that Pope Francis received Chaouqui, the cardinal said the gesture showed solidarity with her and indirect support for her accusatory theses against him. He continued:

“In procedural terms, her act will not be seen as something that proceeds from the pope, but from the First Magistrate of the legal system of the Vatican State, and therefore as an interference in the process.”

Pope Francis sent this response to the cardinal, which was also released:

“Dear brother,

Thank you very much for your email.

I am sorry that this gesture of greeting may have hurt you. I was asked if the lady could come with her children to the general audience and give a kiss on the hand…, and I thought that if it would be good for her, that she could come.

I tell you, then, that I have almost forgotten this lady’s ‘adventure’. I don’t even know if she is involved in the trial (I won’t go into that).

I apologize, and forgive me if this has offended and hurt you. It is my fault, I also have a habit of forgetting the bad things. Please forgive me if I have offended you.

I pray for you, please do that for me.

May the Lord bless you and the Virgin keep you.

Fraternally

Francis

Compiled by Sandra Chisholm

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