Corruption Charges 'Unfounded'

In an unusually public rebuke of a high-ranking colleague, Vatican officials dismissed as baseless the accusations of “corruption and abuse of power” made in letters by the archbishop who is now apostolic nuncio to the United States. In a statement released by the Vatican on Feb. 4, Cardinal-designate Giuseppe Bertello and Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, the current and immediate past presidents of the Governorate of Vatican City State, described as a “cause of great sadness” the recent “unlawful publication” by Italian journalists of two letters addressed to Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican secretary of state.

The letters, written by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò when he was the governorate’s secretary general, contained assertions based on “erroneous evaluations” or “fears unsupported by proof,” the statement said. Archbishop Viganò’s letter to the pope, dated March 27, 2011, lamented “so many situations of corruption and abuse of power long rooted in the various departments” of the governorate and warned that the archbishop’s removal “would provoke profound confusion and dejection” among all those supporting his efforts at reform.

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