Controversial cardinal resigns after financial scandal around the Vatican

The influential Cardinal Angelo Becciu, head of the Vatican Bureau of Beatification and Saints, has resigned and waives his rights as a cardinal. Beccius name is mentioned in connection with a failed investment by the Vatican in real estate in London. The Italian clergyman himself contradicts the fact that he has done something wrong.

The Vatican confines itself to announcement that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Becciu and his renunciation of the rights of a cardinal. Italian media quote sources that say that the Pope himself sent the cardinal away.

Millions of euros for intermediary

The shadowy property deal in London, worth about 150 million euros, cost the Holy See millions of euros in intermediary money. The Public Prosecutors Office of the City State has investigated a number of officials and intermediaries on suspicion of fraud and extortion.

Becciu, who was responsible for the transaction by virtue of his duties at the time, was not covered but was transferred to a minor position. After today, he remains cardinal, but without the associated rights.

Angelo Becciu (72) was until recently part of the mighty Roman Curia, the governing body of the Pope. Becciu is the third cardinal ever to clear the field. Two years ago, the American Cardinal McCarrick resigned when an investigation into sexual abuse had been opened against him. Last year, the Pope went a step further when he kicked the American out of his priesthood.

In 2015, Scottish Cardinal OBrien resigned, also following allegations of sexual abuse.