Ex-Vatican hospital head convicted over cardinal's luxury pad | Inquirer News

Ex-Vatican hospital head convicted over cardinal’s luxury pad

/ 08:22 AM October 15, 2017

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone (right) attends the traditional Greetings to the Roman Curia on December 21, 2015 at the Vatican. Accused of using charity money to refurbish his luxury apartment, Bertone has donated 150,000 euros ($163,000) to the Catholic foundation which footed the bill, media reports said. Bertone, the Vatican’s former Secretary of State, a role equivalent to prime minister, has insisted he paid for the 300,000 euros renovation of the flat overlooking Saint Peter’s Square himself. AFP

VATICAN CITY, Holy See — A Vatican court convicted Saturday the former head of the pope’s children’s hospital for diverting funds to the costly renovation of a top cardinal’s luxury apartment.

Giuseppe Profiti, the former president of the Vatican-run Bambino Gesu Pediatric Hospital Foundation, was given a one-year suspended prison sentence for “abuse of power” over diverting 422,000 euros ($500,000) to fund the renovations.


Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, a former number two at the Vatican under pope Benedict XVI, received in 2013 the spectacular apartment, which is just a stone’s throw from Pope Francis’s modest boarding house.


Despite being mentioned repeatedly throughout the trial, the 82-year-old cardinal was never called as a witness.

The prosecutor said that the incident looked “dreadful” and was characterized by “silence and opacity and poor management of public affairs”. He had requested three years in prison for Profiti.

The second defendant in the trial, the foundation’s treasurer, was found not guilty.

‘The idea was mine alone’

Spread across hundreds of square meters at the top of the Palazzo San Carlo, the cardinal’s residence boasts a huge terrace with magnificent views over Rome.

Profiti testified that hospital funds were used for the renovation with the idea that the cardinal could host intimate dinners for eight to ten wealthy potential donors at a time.

Bertone approved the concept, but “the idea was mine alone,” Profiti told the court.


Profiti acknowledged financial controls surrounding the spending had been lax, saying he could not recall if any contracts had been drawn up. The work was carried out between November 2013 and May 2014.

Pope Francis has vowed to eradicate clerical extravagance, slamming his fist on a table after the luxurious lifestyle of several cardinals was revealed by media reports in 2015 and saying that they cannot “lead the life of a pharaoh”.

Bertone gave up his position as a number two in the Holy See hierarchy months after Francis’s election in 2013, and retired from his last Vatican duties in December 2014.

In late 2015, a new director of the hospital asked Bertone to plug the funding gap. Bertone made a donation of 150,000 euros.

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The renovation has been widely depicted in the Italian media as reflecting the once-powerful cardinal’s desire to spend his retirement in maximum comfort and elegance. /cbb

TAGS: Benedict XVI, corruption, News, Pope Francis, Vatican

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