VATICAN CITY, JUNE 22, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, archbishop of Naples, will cooperate with Italian authorities as they investigate the sale of a building belonging to the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, explained the Holy See on Sunday.
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, confirmed in a communiqué the cardinal’s willingness to cooperate with the probe. The spokesman also noted his “esteem” and “solidarity” with the cardinal “in this difficult moment.”
“Cardinal Sepe is a person who has worked and works intensely and generously for the Church and for the people entrusted to him, and has the right to be respected and esteemed,” added Father Lombardi in a statement issued through Vatican Radio.
“We hope for the best and trust that the situation will be fully and speedily clarified, so that shadows will be eliminated both on his person and on ecclesial institutions,” he affirmed.
“Cardinal Sepe — as he himself has already said — will obviously collaborate on his part to this clarification. Naturally procedural aspects and jurisdictional profiles will have to be taken into account implicit in the correct relations between the Holy See and Italy that are connected eventually to this affair,” concluded Father Lombardi.
The city of Perugia announced Saturday that it will question Cardinal Sepe, 67, regarding the conditions of the sale of a building in Rome when he was prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (between 2001 and 2006) to the former Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Pietro Lunardi, who is also under investigation.
According to Italian media reports, Lundardi bought the Vatican building below market value. And in exchange, according to the accusations in the media, Lunardi allocated government funds to restore historic Church buildings.
When leaving Mass on Sunday, the cardinal said he was confident that “the truth will emerge.”