Vatican Archbishop Paglia: ‘I Trust Completely in the Justice on Earth’

The Italian media are reporting that Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, has been listed among those placed “under investigation” by an Italian prosecutor in connection with the sale of a castle at Narni, in the region of Umbria, central Italy, that took place four years ago in the diocese of Terni, where he was bishop from 2002-2012. 

The press alleges that he is being investigated for association with others to swindle the municipality of Narni, and for false declaration, abusive exercise of credit and undue appropriation. They say that the notification that he is under investigation has been sent to him as well as to the vicar-general of the diocese and to the president of the diocesan institute for the support of the clergy. They report that the notification was issued after the deputy-prosecutor of Terni, Elisabetta Massini,  had completed a two-year preliminary investigation.

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It's important to note that under Italian law that fact that one is being placed "under investigation" does not mean that one is being charged with a crime, much less that one is guilty of the said crime. It simply means that there is a need for further investigation and the prosecutor has the legal responsibility to notify the person of this. This further investigation could lead to one's acquittal, or to being brought to court for trial. 

The Vatican archbishop, however, told the Italian news agency ANSA that he had learned about all this from the press earlier in the day and, as of this evening (Rome time), he had not received any such notification from the state prosecutor. “Obviously, I remain at the disposition of the investigating authorities and trust totally in the earthly justice,” he stated.

At the same time, he added, that he was taking legal action in both the civil and penal courts to protect his good name.

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