Cardinal Pell and Cardinal Becciu had a poisonous exchange of blows before Christmas. What's behind it?
(Rome) The year 2021 ended with a violent exchange of blows between Cardinals Angelo Becciu and George Pell. The Australian Pell, who was Prefect of the Vatican's Economic Secretariat until 2017, before falling victim to what was perhaps the greatest anti-church justice scandal, voiced serious suspicions against his cardinal brother, the Sardinian Becciu, in several interviews. [+++Pell is the best Darwinian the trad-con party has, I guess. I remain convinced he’s a sexual predator who protected others of his kind while he was an ordinary. The Church would be better off without him.] He was a substitute for the Vatican State Secretariat until 2018 and then Prefect of the Congregation for Canonization until 2020. Because of his involvement in another, possibly related, scandal, Becciu declared at the end of 2020 that he was renouncing his rights, but not his dignity as a cardinal. While the media do not report the exchange of blows without enjoyment, the question of truth needs to be clarified, as was the case in the Pell case.
When Cardinal Pell was acquitted in Australia in April 2019, he had been innocent [not really, but OK] in prison for more than a year. At that time, his lawyer expressed serious allegations in the direction of the Vatican. The suspicion had already made the rounds in 2017: The criminal proceedings wrongly carried out against Cardinal Pell in Australia could have come from the Vatican. From circles who wanted to get rid of the Australian financial supervisor in order to be able to continue their dubious business or to cover up their exposure?
Becciu’s open letter that annoyed Pell
In any case, Cardinal Becciu felt struck by the suspicions and wrote an open letter on December 23rd. In it he called on Pell to “no longer include him in public discourse” and to show him the respect “which is due to a brother - a man - who is in an uphill battle, which I especially as a Christian, then only as a defendent, without hesitation, describe it as a struggle for truth and justice ”.
Cardinal Pell reacted angrily and sent word through his spokesman that he was "impatiently" waiting for Becciu to "answer many questions".
In one of his most recent interviews with the National Catholic Register on December 16, the Australian cardinal repeated the main question to which the Australian cardinal would like his confreere to answer: What is behind the transfer of $ 2.23 million from the Vatican to Australia when Becciu was a substitute in the State Secretariat and the criminal case against Pell started in Australia?
Cardinal Pell, whom Pope Francis dropped during the criminal proceedings, last stated on December 17 in the Italian daily Il Foglio that he was not ruling out the possibility that there was a connection between the unjust criminal proceedings against him in his home country and the opposition he faced encountered during his tenure as Prefect of the Economic Secretariat in the Roman Curia. Pell had already voiced this suspicion in his first post-release interview with Andrew Bolt for Sky.
Beccius' fall and the initiation of criminal proceedings against him because of the London property scandal seem to have reinforced this conviction in Pell. It is even assumed that the scandal surrounding Cardinal Becciu, less than six months after Pell's acquittal, also broke out through his testimony.
Beccius' deep fall
On September 24, 2020, Becciu was received by Pope Francis. According to the official language, Francis on this occasion accepted Beccius' resignation as Prefect of the Congregation for Canonization and noted his renunciation of his rights as a cardinal. A few days later, Cardinal Pell issued a statement showing his satisfaction with Beccius' fall. Pell has reiterated his allegations several times over the past few months, as if he feared the Vatican investigative authorities would not be able to pursue the matter with sufficient force. He also stressed that Pope Francis felt betrayed by Beccu and wanted to get to the bottom of the matter. In contrast to Pell, however, Francis has not yet completely dropped Becciu.
Pell's allegations received international attention in the fall of 2020 when the Australian financial regulator Austrac, in response to a request from Australian Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, stated that in the six years that Becciu was a substitute for the State Secretariat, an unbelievable $ 2.3 million had been paid from the Vatican that had been transferred to Australia. The number was, in fact, too incredible to be true, so the Austrac corrected itself a few days later and put the total at $ 9.5 million. At the same time, the authority announced that "so far no criminal behavior in connection with payments from the Vatican to Australia have been found.” The media vortex was already created. Since then, Becciu sees himself as a victim of unjustified allegations. However, this does not change the fact that light is to be brought into the darkness. This applies to Beccius' real estate business in London, but also to Pell's suspicion that money from the Vatican may have flowed to his disadvantage in Australia “to buy the accusers in the pedophilia trial”.
Cardinal Pell specifically requests information from Becciu about the payment of a total of 2.23 million dollars, which was made in 2017/2018. The money is said to have flowed into an account with the computer security company Neustar in Melbourne. In a statement dated January 13, 2021, the Vatican announced on the total transfers for the years 2011 to 2018 that these were "contractual obligations". He did not specifically address the two transfers mentioned. Cardinal Becciu announced that he would answer Pell's question, not to the media, but to the court in due course.
The new book on the Pelll case
The new book: The Indictment Against Pell stood on feet of clay from the start
Last November 30th, Gerard Henderson's book, Cardinal Pell, the Media Pile-On & Collective Guilt, hit bookshops in Australia. The author shows what clayey feet the indictment against Pell had from the beginning. The real "indictment" against the purple bearer, according to Henderson, came from the media, which, with the power of their opinion machinery, had turned the cardinal into a "monster" that was already prejudiced at the start of the trial. Based on the facts, it seems unbelievable that Pell could even be convicted in the first instance. The way through the three court instances, from the first conviction to the complete acquittal, was a battle of retreat by the judiciary in order to gradually evade this publiclie generated pressure to which the first instance succumbed. In the end there was an acquittal. Henderson points out the negative role the media played in the criminal case of suspicions without producing evidence.
Now it is Cardinal Becciu, in his open letter asking Cardinal Pell to stop the public allegations against him, who recalls that experience, "the pain of an unjust indictment and the agony of an innocent person during a trial" .
It is Beccius' responsibility to clarify the matter with the Vatican judges. This concerns first of all his involvement in the purchase of Londun luxury real estate, but also a possible influence on the Australian criminal case against Pell. Beccius' warning is to be taken seriously, however, to the effect that in his case, too, accusations without concrete evidence should not be asserted as facts, just because one knows that the media are only too happy to jump on a bandwagon that promises the headline "Scandal in the Vatican". This accusation hits the media, not Cardinal Pell, who has a legitimate interest in clarification. Nevertheless, it cannot be overlooked that the reporting on Cardinal Becciu in autumn 2020 also had something of what shaped the media campaign against Cardinal Pelll in the years 2016 to 2019.
Cardinal Pell recorded his imprisonment in a prison diary, the first volume of which, “Innocent Accused and Condemned”, and it was also published in German last spring.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: MiL / Youtube (screenshot)
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org