The sudden resignation of a senior ranking Vatican official has reportedly sent shockwaves through the Vatican.
In an overnight announcement from the Vatican – also known as the Holy See – and the only state in Europe with diplomatic ties to Taiwan, Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu is understood to have suddenly resigned from his post.
A former senior official in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, the cardinal had, sources in Italy indicate, been mired in controversy over a property deal and subsequent financial investigation in London using church funds.
The property deal in London’s high-end Sloane Avenue is reported as having used a number of offshore companies and funds.
It eventually led to the suspension of several Vatican staff and an Italian police raid in the offices of the Secretariat.
Cardinal Becciu later defended the deal saying “An investment was made on a building. It was good and opportune occasion, which many people envy us for today,”
In his post in the Secretariat of State, Becciu was the Vatican’s Substitute for General Affairs, the number two ranking position, and as such met with the Pope daily.
The cardinal has previously denied any wrongdoing in the case but according to the announcement from the Holy See, “The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the office of Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and from the rights connected to the Cardinalate, presented by His Eminence Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu.”
It is understood for now that Cardinal Becciu, will retain his title despite the sudden resignation.