VATICAN CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) - A glamorous super-fixer who pocketed over half a million euros from the Vatican for covert "consultancy" says she is being turned into a "parcel bomb" to divert attention from the financial skeletons tumbling from the Vatican's closet.
Dubbed the "cardinal's glamour girl," 39-year-old Cecilia Marogna is reported to have received €600,000 ($708,540) from the Vatican's Secretariat of State's deputy Cdl. Giovanni Angelo Becciu for "parallel diplomacy" in high-risk countries where Vatican embassies are based.
As sensational revelations rock the Vatican, Marogna has hit back in her defense, remarking: "Vatican money is not accounted for, it is always confidential transactions."
According to media reports, Marogna received compensation from the cardinal to coordinate intelligence activities with a view to protecting papal nunciatures in Africa and the Middle East from environmental risks and terrorist cells, as well as to negotiate the release of missionary priests and nuns kidnapped by criminal organizations.
The super-consultant's company, Log Sic Doo (Logsic), which handles the "humanitarian operations," was registered in Slovenia in December 2018 with a paid-up capital of €7,500 ($8,856).
"I opened the company in Slovenia for geopolitical reasons: I thought that the next powder keg would be that of the Balkans," Marogna said, noting that she intended to build relations with countries like Georgia, Ukraine, Serbia, Bosnia and Slovenia.
"Cardinal Becciu gave the [financial] input to Msgr. [Alberto] Perlasca, who made the transfers," Marogna revealed. The transfers were made from 2016 onwards.
Perlasca headed the office responsible for managing Vatican investments and for overseeing the administration of the Peter's Pence — the pope's charitable fund.
In February, Vatican investigators raided Perlasca's office and residence. On July 26, 2019, Pope Francis had appointed Perlasca Promoter of Justice at the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura — chief prosecutor of the Vatican's supreme court.
"I didn't steal a single euro," Marogna stated. "I think I have the right to buy myself an armchair after all that work!"
"I have a letter from the cardinal giving me the right to travel and conduct diplomatic relations to help the Church in difficult countries," she said, explaining that the money spent on a handbag was for the wife of a Nigerian friend who advised her on the dangers facing Vatican missions in Africa.
Both Becciu and Marogna are from the Italian island of Sardinia. The "glamour girl" is rumored to be Becciu's mistress, but she has vigorously denied the accusation.
"The cardinal was swindled," Becciu's friends are telling the media.
Investigators believe that the hefty compensation was spent not for "intelligence" or "diplomatic" work securing the release of hostages, but for personal expenses.
But Marogna believes she is being used as a "parcel bomb" to "shift attention from the London scandal" and the purchase of luxury apartments in Sloane Avenue for more than $200 million using money from Peter's Pence.
Deputy Secretary of State Becciu made headlines in 2019 after authorizing the controversial purchase of a property on 60 Sloane Avenue in London for more than $200 million, using money taken from Peter's Pence.
"From being an asset, I have become a boomerang, an object of contention for events outside the Vatican walls," Marogna told media.
The fixer claims that the "big interests" are running things and the cash transfers to her "are small things in the context of a much wider power struggle," in an internecine Vatican war focused on opposition to Pope Francis.
The scandals are a major source of embarrassment to Pope Francis and his supporters, clouding the hoped-for euphoria over the publication of his encyclical Fratelli Tutti, Church Militant has learned.
The pontiff's cheerleaders fear his legacy being eroded as conservatives could condemn as "hypocritical" Fratelli Tutti's anti-free market capitalism leitmotif while the Vatican finds itself embroiled in financial scandals involving the market.
On Friday, Church Militant reported on the Vatican using a €528 million Vatican-donations portfolio to purchase credit default swaps (CDS) based on a gamble that the rental car company Hertz would not default on its debts by April 2020.
In a Church Militant article responding to the Becciu scandal, Vatican whistleblower Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò explained how Pope Francis had knowingly "surrounded himself with widely compromised characters — e.g., [disgraced homopredator and Vatican-China architect Theodore] McCarrick — giving them official assignments, then kicking them out as soon as their scandals were exposed."
The former apostolic nuncio to the U.S. observed that the current pontifical regime "has been compared in many quarters to that of a South American junta."