Ousted Vatican Auditor and Deputy Sue Holy See for $9.25M

Pope Francis delivers his blessing from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, May 24, 2020. For the first time in months, well-spaced faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the traditional Sunday papal blessing, casting their gaze at the window where the pope normally addresses the faithful, since the square had been closed due to anti-coronavirus lockdown measures. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

The Vatican’s first auditor general and his deputy, who were appointed in 2015 and fired two years later, are suing the Holy See for 9.3 million euros ($9.25 million) in damages, alleging they were sacked after discovering financial irregularities.

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said on Thursday he had no comment on the lawsuit, which was filed last week with the Vatican prosecutor’s office by lawyers for Libero Milone and Ferruccio Panicco, in a 53-page claim.

“For nothing is concealed that will not become evident, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light.” Luke 8:17

pope francis meets libero milone

Milone, 74, a former chairman and CEO of Deloitte in Italy, was appointed by Pope Francis in 2015 as part of an effort to clean up Vatican finances and raise accounting procedures to international standards of accountability and transparency.

He was told to resign in 2017 by Cardinal Archbishop Angelo Becciu, who was then the number two person in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, its most important department.

Becciu told Reuters in 2017 that Milone “went against all the rules and was spying on the private lives of his superiors and staff, including me.”

Milone denies this, saying he just was seeking information he had a right to see as auditor general.

Pope Francis fired Becciu in 2020. Becciu is currently one of 10 defendants at a trial in the Vatican on charges including corruption and embezzlement related to the purchase of a building in London. All of them deny any wrongdoing.

The Vatican’s prosecutor’s office said it had recently re-opened an investigation about events at the time of the sacking in 2017. Milone said he was summoned to appear next week.

Becciu told Reuters he had nothing new to say about the Milone case, directing a reporter to his testimony at the court where he is now on trial which says that it was the pope who ordered Milone’s ousting and that he merely carried it out.

Becciu’s lawyers said Milone had given a “a completely unfounded reconstruction” of events.

Milone told reporters at a briefing in Rome on Tuesday that at the start of his mandate he had good relations with the pope, telling him “everything I found” and meeting him regularly.

But that changed in 2016 at about the same time he requested more information from Becciu on the London building. ($1 = 1.0052 euros)

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