Vatican court listens to secret audio of Pope Francis

VATICAN CITY (HPD) — The Vatican tribunal investigating a financial fraud case heard an unusual witness Thursday, when a secret recording of Pope Francis was played in court in connection with payments the Holy See made to free a nun held hostage by al Qaeda-linked militants.

The audio of the pope’s voice in court marked a surreal new chapter in a trial that has already taken several turns as Vatican judges try to determine who is criminally responsible for losing tens of millions of euros in Holy See property.

Vatican prosecutors presented the recording as evidence on Thursday, saying it was part of a set of materials recently obtained from an Italian financial policeman who is investigating a Sardinia, Italy, charity linked to Cardinal Angelo Becciu, once a close Francis’ collaborator and one of 10 defendants in the Vatican trial.

Vatican prosecutors revealed that the evidence from Sardinia was also added to a new Vatican investigation into which Becciu is being investigated for an alleged criminal conspiracy.

According to prosecutor Angelo Diddy, Becciu and an associated family secretly recorded Francis on July 24, 2021, three days before the Vatican trial was set to begin, when Becciu spoke to him by phone from his Vatican apartment. Although most of the defendants face charges related to the Vatican’s €350 million investment in a London property, Becciu is on trial for alleged abuse of power and embezzlement in connection with his dealings with an alleged security analyst who Also on trial is Cecilia Marogna.

In the recording, Becciu basically asks Francis to confirm that the pontiff authorized payments to a British firm that Marogna had identified to negotiate the release of a Colombian nun who was kidnapped in Mali in 2017. Francis, who had just been discharged after 10 days in the hospital, he was familiar with the case and basically agreed, according to several lawyers who heard the recording. The president of the court ordered the press to leave the room during the playback of the video on the grounds that it had not been formally accepted as evidence.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *