SPOTLIGHT: ILLINOIS ORGY—ROME CONNECTION premieres Monday, Sept. 20 after Catholic Info Hour at 7 PM ET
Secular media is confirming Church Militant's report last week that the recent Vatican raid centers on hundreds of millions of dollars misappropriated by the Secretariat of State.
The alleged crime took place under Cdl. Angelo Becciu, a papal ally promoted to cardinal last year by Pope Francis.
When Becciu worked as deputy Secretary of State, he authorized the purchase of this property on 60 Sloane Avenue in London for a price equalling more than $200 million.
The problem? The money was taken from Peter's Pence, the pope's annual collection meant to be used towards the Holy See's charitable projects around the world. A costly business investment involving the purchase of commercial property in London doesn't count.
Complaints about the purchase led to the Vatican's October 1st raid on the Secretariat of State, where Vatican police took electronic files and equipment related to the real estate transaction.
Another twist: The head of police, who carried out the raid — Domenico Giani — a longtime fixture in the Vatican and Pope Francis' personal body guard, abruptly stepped down Monday after a confidential memo was leaked to the press following the raid.
A Vatican source tells Church Militant it was a forced resignation, and payback for carrying out the raid on the Secretariat of State — also a clear message to others intent on digging too deeply into the Vatican office's affairs.
In light of the controversy swirling around Cdl. Becciu, it remains to be seen whether Pope Francis will take any action against a man he's considered his ally and friend.