Vatican whistle-blower begged to continue his anti-crony crusade, letter shows

January 27, 2012

(Road signs are seen in front of Saint Peter's Basilica from the Vatican Gardens at the Vatican May 31, 2010. REUTERS/Max Rossi )

A senior Vatican official who was transferred after he exposed a web of corruption begged to be allowed to continue his crusade and denounced a “vulgar and insolent” cleric behind a plot to destroy him, according to a leaked letter on Friday.

The letter from Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, who is now the Vatican’s ambassador to Washington, will increase consternation in the Vatican which has been put on the defensive by the growing scandal.

Vigano wrote on May 8, 2011, to Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone imploring “your eminence to radically change your opinion of me,” according to the letter published by the Italian daily Il Fatto Quotidiano, one of two news organizations which have been leaked the correspondence. He wrote that letter nearly two months after Bertone, the second-most powerful man in the Vatican after the pope, informed him that he was being removed from his position three years before the scheduled end of his tenure.

Letters broadcast on Wednesday by the investigative program “The Untouchables” on the private television La7 showed Vigano was transferred against his will after complaining to Bertone and Pope Benedict about corruption and mismanagement. The Vatican has not contested the authenticity of the letters, which sometimes read like a Renaissance drama of court intrigue, but has criticized the media’s handling of them.

As deputy governor of the Vatican City for two years from 2009 to 2011, Vigano was the number two official in a department responsible for maintaining the tiny city-state’s gardens, buildings, streets, museums and other infrastructure. Vigano said in one of the earlier letters that when he took the job he discovered corruption, nepotism and cronyism linked to the awarding of contracts to outside companies at inflated prices.

In one letter, Vigano writes of a smear campaign against him by other Vatican officials who were upset that he had taken drastic steps to clean up the purchasing procedures. In the May 8, 2011, letter published on Friday Vigano, who has not yet commented on the letters, makes a desperate attempt to keep his job and salvage his reputation.

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3 comments

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I read this article with great disdain. If it is in fact true, then we as a Church have learned nothing from the time of Pope John Paul I (Albino). What in the name of all that is holy are we doing? Shame for those involved, strength for those who speak out and prayers to the Lord for justice.

Posted by kofcri | Report as abusive

Not long to go now before the illusion collapses from the weight of its absurdity.

Posted by charlesfrith | Report as abusive

The Vatican’s money laundering is a story that will emerge later this year.

Posted by charlesfrith | Report as abusive