Vatican City State Rejects Corruption Charges

Responds to Letters Attributed to Current US Nuncio

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By Kathleen Naab

ROME, FEB. 6, 2012 ( The presidency of the governing body for Vatican City State is rejecting charges of corruption found in letters credited to Archbishop Carlo Viganò and leaked to the press.

A declaration released by the Presidency of the Governorate of Vatican City State was published Saturday by the Vatican Information Service. The declaration bears the signatures of Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, retired president of the Governorate; Archbishop Giuseppe Bertello, current president; Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca, secretary-general, and Bishop Giorgio Corbellini, former vice secretary-general.

Archbishop Viganò was named the apostolic nuncio to the United States last October, following the sudden death in July of Archbishop Pietro Sambi, who previously held that post.

Prior to Archbishop Viganò’s move, he was the secretary of the Governorate of Vatican City State

“The illicit publication of two letters by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the first addressed to the Holy Father on 27 March 2011 and the second to the Cardinal Secretary of State on 8 May, is a cause of great bitterness for the Governorate of Vatican City State,” the seven-point statement declared. “The assertions contained in those letters cannot but give rise to the impression that the Governorate of Vatican City State, rather than being an instrument of responsible government, is a body unworthy of trust, at the mercy of obscure powers. Having carefully examined the contents of the two letters, the Presidency of the Governorate feels the duty to declare publicly that the aforesaid assertions are the result of incorrect evaluations, or are based on fears not backed up by evidence, indeed openly contradicted by the principle figures called to witness them.”

The statement goes on to note that the budget and financial statements of the Governorate are open to review by the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See at any time, and regularly submitted to that office.

The note said that the investing losses suffered by the Governorate in the international crisis of 2008 did not put the office in the red, “mainly due to two factors: the management of the financial investments of the Governorate, which the cardinal president entrusted to the Extraordinary Section of APSA in 2009 and, to an even greater extent, to the excellent results of the Vatican Museums.”

The statement also clarified practices for contracting work in the Vatican, such as the restoration of the Colonnade of St. Peter’s Square, and other more minor projects.

The presidency “confirms its complete trust in its administrative offices and collaborators,” the statement added. “All suspicions and accusations have, following careful examination, been shown to be unfounded, as have — almost to the point of seeming laughable — news reports, fruit of a certain kind of highly superficial journalism, that telephones were tapped and rooms bugged as part of a merely administrative and disciplinary procedure!”

The statement acknowledges that the administration “though already well organized and productive, could be further improved in accordance with the recommendations made by the McKinsey management consultancy firm, commission by the cardinal president in 2009 at the suggestion of the Finance and Management Committee. The implementation of the improvements suggested by McKinsey, which began some time ago, will continue in the same spirit.”

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