“Vatileaks 2” Trials Highlight Vatican Finances
Five people have been indicted for allegedly leaking confidential financial documents belonging to the Holy See and the Vatican City State, Reuters reported in November. The trials for Francesca Chaouqui, a public relations professional, and Opus Dei member Msgr. Lucio Angel Vallejo—both part of a Holy See commission to reform Vatican finances—as well as those for two journalists, began late that month. Hearings continued in March, according to Catholic News Service.
One of the journalists, Gianluigi Nuzzi, objected to Catholic News Agency that Vatican City uses “an old law, belonging to times when Italy was a kingdom.” In the same article, Emiliano Fittipaldi, another journalist, alleged that any trial in Vatican City “would have no penal relevance” in Italy. Both wrote books on the lack of transparency in Vatican finances that may have utilized leaked documents, although the bulk of their information was from public sources. Nuzzi obtained a secret recording of Pope Francis speaking to Vatican officials about financial reform, according to the Guardian (UK).
In December, a report from Moneyval, the financial watchdog agency of the Council of Europe, concluded that after several investigations into Vatican finances “there are no real results emerging by way of serious prosecutions in any of the outstanding enquiries,” according to Reuters. Nevertheless, a statement from Msgr. Antoine Camilleri, head of the Holy See’s delegation at Moneyval, was published shortly thereafter by Catholic News Agency: “[T]he latest progress report confirms that the Holy See has established a functional, sustainable and effective system, aiming at preventing and fighting financial crimes.” The case has been dubbed Vatileaks 2, after the original Vatileaks scandal involving Pope Benedict XVI’s butler in 2012. At Christmas, Pope Francis apologized to Vatican employees for “the scandals that there were in the Vatican” in 2015, Crux reported.