Vatican: No Criminal Investigation into Cardinal Bertone

Ex Secretary of State Denies Embezzlement Allegations Made by German Tabloid

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The Vatican has said no criminal investigation is being carried out by the Vatican into Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the former Secretary of State, after a German newspaper alleged he had embezzled 15 million euros from Vatican accounts.

The tabloid Bild reported Tuesday, citing unofficial Holy See sources, that the money went to an unidentified television producer friend of the cardinal. It claimed the funds were moved in a transfer in December 2012 despite resistance from the Vatican Bank.

Bild reported that Renè Bruelhart, head of the Vatican’s Financial Information Authority (AIF), said he could «neither confirm nor deny» the reports that Cardinal Bertone is being probed.

In a short statement issued this afternoon, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said: “Regarding news stories now circulating, I declare that there is no criminal investigation of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone being conducted by the Vatican judicial system.”

The cardinal, who was Vatican Secretary of State from 2006 to 2013, has denied the allegations. He told the ADNKronos agency Tuesday that the transfer was approved by the board of cardinals who supervise the workings of the Vatican bank, and the minutes of that board’s meetings would confirm this.

Last month, the Italian cardinal strongly denied Italian media reports claiming he had a luxurious 700-square-meter flat renovated for himself.

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