Real estate scandal rocks the Vatican

The affair is related to a building in London’s Chelsea neighborhood

Oct.October 15, 2019 10:18 AM
From left: 60 Sloane Avenue, Domenico Giani, former head of security of The Vatican, and Vatican City (Credit: Wikipedia and iStock)

From left: 60 Sloane Avenue, Domenico Giani, former head of security of The Vatican, and Vatican City (Credit: Wikipedia and iStock)

A new scandal is sweeping through the Vatican and, despite scant details, the center of the storm appears to be one of the Holy See’s property investments in London.

An internal probe that’s led to at least five Vatican staffers’ suspension is focused on a Chelsea building that the Holy See bought Italian financier Raffaele Mincione, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Vatican bought out Mincione last year and the financier claims the building is now worth more than $490 million.

After the identities of the staff who were suspended in the investigation were leaked to the press, the Vatican’s head of security, Domenico Giani, resigned. Giani claims he’s not responsible for the leak and is stepping down “out of love for the church and faithfulness” to the pope.

The suspended staffers include a top official at the Vatican’s financial watchdog, Tommaso Di Ruzza, and Monsignor Mauro Carlino, who was one of the highest officials at the Secretariat of State until Pope Francis made him a cardinal last year. It is still unclear what led to their suspensions and what, if any, wrongdoing is at issue. [WSJ] — Erin Hudson

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