Italian media has reported allegations that Cardinal Angelo Becciu transferred several hundred thousand euros from Vatican accounts to an account in Australia during the trial of Cardinal George Pell.
The cardinal has not responded to the allegation, which international news outlets have yet to independently corroborate.
Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported on Friday that the alleged transfer is part of a dossier of evidence being compiled by Vatican investigators and prosecutors against the cardinal, who was forced to resign by Pope Francis on September 24.
According to the Italian newspaper Il Messaggero, the allegations were made by Msgr Alberto Perlasca, Cardinal Becciu’s former chief deputy at the Secretariat of State. Msgr Perlasca and Cardinal Becciu worked together for several years overseeing aspects of curial governance, including the investment Vatican finances.
Msgr Perlasca is believed to be cooperating with Vatican prosecutors as part of an ongoing investigation into financial misconduct at the Secretariat of State over a period of years.
Il Messagaro reported on Friday that, in discussions with Vatican prosecutors, Msgr Perlasca accused Cardinal Becciu of transferring €700,000 from a Vatican account to an Australian account during the course of Cardinal Pell’s trial in Victoria on charges of child sexual abuse. The paper did not specify when Msgr Perlasca first made the accusation, did not give a precise date for the alleged transfer, and did not indicate to whom the account in Australia was supposed to belong.
The substance of the accusation has yet to be confirmed, which is likely to make global headlines after years of speculation by supporters of Cardinal Pell that the timing of sexual abuse allegations against him was linked to efforts to oppose his reform of Vatican finances.
Msgr Perlasca worked as the head of the administrative office from 2009 until July 2019, when Pope Francis appointed him Promoter of Justice at the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature; chief prosecutor of the Church’s highest ecclesiastical court. Cardinal Becciu served as sostituto, the second most senior position in the secretariat, from 2012-2018, when he was promoted to lead the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and made a cardinal.
In February, Msgr Perlasca’s home and office were raided by investigators over his participation in the Vatican’s investment of hundreds of millions of euros with the Italian financier Raffaele Mincione.
On September 24, Cardinal Becciu was ordered to resign from his role at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and the rights and privileges of a cardinal, after Pope Francis was presented with evidence of serial financial misconduct by the cardinal.