Thursday, July 25, 2013
The deception unveiled, Francis "will know what to do"
Sandro Magister Chiesa ROME, July 25, 2013 – It is enough these days to enter the offices of the Institute for Works of Religion to understand how flimsy the argument is that has been advanced in defense of Monsignor Battista Ricca, the prelate of the IOR whose scandalous past has been revealed by L'Espresso: ........... According to Ricca's defenders - very active both inside and outside of the Vatican - by striking him the "old guard" of the curia is trying to block the rehabilitation of the "pope's bank." But the facts say the opposite. With or without the prelate, the remediation of the accounts and apparatus of the IOR is moving forward at an accelerated pace. * The affair of Monsignor Ricca is a case in point of the weeds that pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio wants to uproot from the Vatican curia. Against homosexuals who live in chastity, including priests, bishops, cardinals, there is no preconceived hostility whatsoever in the Church, so much so that, in tranquility, a number of them have occupied and still occupy important positions. What the Church does not accept is that consecrated persons, who have made a public commitment of celibacy and chastity "for the Kingdom of Heaven," should betray their promise. When the betrayal is public, it becomes scandal. And to heal it the Church requires a penitential journey that begins with repentance, not with falsification, concealment, deception, worse still if carried out with the complicity of others, in a "lobby" of intersecting interests, licit and illicit. In the case of Ricca, the deception has hit Pope Francis himself. About the monsignor's scandalous past, and the present cover-up, Francis knew nothing when on June 15 he appointed him prelate, meaning his fiduciary at the IOR. He had been shown the file concerning Ricca that is kept at the personnel office of the secretariat of state, and everything appeared to be in order. But over the following days a number of trusted persons sounded the alarm for the pope, in speech and in writing, over what had happened in Uruguay between 1999 and 2001 at the nunciature of Montevideo where Ricca had been in service. More information came to the pope on June 21 and 22, when he met with the nuncios who had convened in Rome from all over the world. After the news of the looming scandal was published on July 3 on www.chiesa, Francis wanted to see Ricca's personal file again. This time as well they passed him off as immaculate. The chain of command composed of cardinal secretary of state Tarcisio Bertone, his substitute Giovanni Angelo Becciu, and the delegate for the pontifical diplomatic missions, head of personnel Luciano Suriani, did not even take the basic step of asking the nunciature of Montevideo for copies of the reports from the nuncio at the time, Janusz Bolonek, which arrived in Rome but were evidently made to disappear. Worse, after L'Espresso last week brought the elements of the scandal to everyone's attention, they had Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi say that what was published is "not reliable." When instead it corresponds in every way to the documents - ecclesiastical and of the civil authorities - kept at the nunciature, including the letter with which Bolonek implored the Vatican authorities to send him in place of Ricca a new and "morally sound" adviser. In Uruguay, at least five bishops who were direct witnesses of the scandal are ready to report. "Es todo verdad," it's all true, ecclesiastical sources have told the leading newspaper of Montevideo, "El País." After seeing L'Espresso, Pope Francis himself picked up the telephone and called persons in his trust in that country, for definitive confirmation of the facts. "Surely the Holy Father, in his wisdom, will know what to do," was the succinct statement of the current nuncio, Guido Anselmo Pecorari.