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Two Ex-Officials of Vatican-Run Hospital Charged with Misusing Money

The examples of shady Vatican business practices revealed in that book led to a trial of Mr. Fittipaldi and four others on charges of publishing leaked documents. But a Vatican judge determined that the court had no jurisdiction over Mr. Fittipaldi and over another Italian reporter, Gianluigi Nuzzi.

(Mr. Nuzzi was already known for a book revealing letters deeply unflattering to Cardinal Bertone. Those blockbuster leaks, which prompted what became known as the Vatileaks scandal, led the Vatican to try, convict and sentence Benedict’s butler for releasing the correspondence. Benedict later pardoned the butler.)

Last year, the court convicted two members of a papal oversight committee, who had been on trial alongside Mr. Fittipaldi and Mr. Nuzzi, for conspiring to leak the confidential documents.


Tarcisio Bertone in February 2013, when he was the Vatican secretary of state. Credit Gregorio Borgia/Associated Press

The first was a Vatican monsignor, who at one point was put under house arrest after receiving a contraband cellphone inside a cake. (Francis eventually granted him clemency around Christmas time after he had served half of his sentence in a Vatican jail.)

The other was a publicist, who was pregnant for much of the trial and who brought her newborn to court in the trial’s closing days. Her sentence was suspended.

A fifth person, the monsignor’s secretary, was cleared.

Cardinal Bertone, who appointed Mr. Profiti, has not been charged in connection with the rerouted hospital funds, and the Vatican has said he is not under investigation. Francis removed the cardinal from power in 2013, eight months into his papacy.

The Italian news media covered in granular detail the renovation of Cardinal Bertone’s retirement apartment, in which he joined two units into a 6,500-square-foot residence — complete with high-tech sound systems and white Carrara marble — in the San Carlo palace, where he lived with three nuns assigned to help him.

Amid the scrutiny, Cardinal Bertone donated more than €150,000 euros to the hospital.

“It is a donation that reflects my sentimental attachment to the hospital and its little patients,” Cardinal Bertone said at the time.

(Mr. Profiti’s replacement as president, Mariella Enoc, had a less sentimental interpretation of the donation. “Acknowledging that what has happened has been detrimental to the Bambino Gesù,” she said at the time. “Cardinal Bertone wanted to meet us halfway, donating a sum of €150,000.”)

A woman who answered the phone on Thursday afternoon at Cardinal Bertone’s apartment, where he keeps cats and has a collection of soccer balls signed by players of the Juventus club, said she would convey a request for comment to the cardinal. Cardinal Bertone did not return the call.

This is not the first time recently that an unflattering focus has fallen on the children’s hospital, the so-called pope’s hospital. An investigation by The Associated Press this month revealed that recommendations of a secret Vatican-authorized inquiry into sinking health care standards at the hospital had been largely buried or swept aside. The hospital has disputed the report.

Mr. Profiti, who retired in January 2015, nine months into a new three-year term, acknowledged last year in an interview with the Turin-based daily La Stampa that hospital funds had been used in the apartment renovation, but called it a “strategic” marketing investment because the hospital planned to use the cardinal’s refurbished apartment for fund-raising.

Cardinal Bertone, 82, has argued that the home would be put to good use for future officials.

“The apartment is spacious, as is normal for the residences in the ancient palaces of the Vatican, and dutifully restored (at my expense),” Cardinal Bertone wrote on a church blog in 2014. “I may temporarily use, and after me it will benefit someone else.”

Source: NYT > World

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