Despite the rumours of the last few days, but nobody imagined that the investigation of the Vatican judiciary on the leak of confidential documents would have resulted in such a drastic epilogue: two arrests over Saturday and Sunday: A clergyman, Monsignor Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda, and Francesca Chaouqui, who in the past were respectively secretary and a member of the COSEA (Commission for Reference on the Organization of the Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See established by the Pope in July 2013 and subsequently dissolved after the completion of its mandate.
The woman, an Italian citizen, in essence gave herself over to the Vatican Police when she went to small state in order to be interrogated by the promoter of justice Milano. This is also one of the reasons why she got immediately released. Whereas Monsignor Vallejo Balda had been arrested the night before and is still in detention. The Spanish prelate had the functions of secretary of the Commission established by Pope Francis a few months after his election in order to study the reorganization of the Vatican dicasteries and of their financial management (the so-called COSEA). He was also the one who proposed to the Pope to introduce madam Chaouqui into the body, whom Vatican magistrates consider to be his accomplice in subtracting and spreading confidential documents to the journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi, authors respectively of the volumes Via Crucis and Greed.
“As to the books announced for the next few days – says the Vatican’s note divulged by Father Lombardi, with an implicit reference to the imminent works by Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi – it must be said clearly that this time, as it has already happened in the past, they are the result of serious betrayal of Pope’s confidence; as to the authors, it is an operation which takes advantage of a severely illicit act, that of delivering confidential documentation”. According to the Vatican spokesman, “there is no way such publications can contribute to establish clarity and truth; they rather generate confusion and partial and biased interpretations. It is absolutely essential – concludes Father Lombardi – to avoid the misunderstanding that this is a way to help the Pope’s mission”.
The issued press release makes it clear that the dissemination of confidential documents is a crime. All this cannot but remind us about the dark period of Vatileaks, when was arrested and prosecuted Paul Gabriel, the groom of the chamber of Pope Ratzinger, from whom were stolen documents, some objects, and a check (which, truth to be told, has never been cashed and is likely to be uncollectable). Also at the time the documents were published in a book ( His Holiness, by Nuzzi).
During the last few days has been circulating news (never officially confirmed) about a violation of the computer of the Holy See’s Auditor General, Libero Milone, whom the Pontiff entrusted the task of revisioning the dicasteries of the Roman Curia, of the institutions associated with it, and administrations that are connected to the Governorship of the Vatican City, a role which was previously assigned to the Prefecture for Economic Affairs, which is currently disappearing: its president, Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, at present is the prefect of Catholic Education, and the secretary is monsignor Balda himself.
“I describe, through unknown documents and personal investigations, the wealth of the Vatican – this is how Fittipaldi, journalist for L’Espresso, “defended” himself – financial scandals which were not told, use of money not for what you would call edifying purposes, as well as a questionable use of the offers made by the faithful to the Church. In short, a Church which resists Francis’ reformatory work”. “I do not know what the charges are. I have understood that it is about the news which leaked for my book and for that of my colleague from Mediaset (Gianluigi Nuzzi, ndr). If this is the case, those are two very heavy measures”.
Nuzzi, on the other hand, already a journalist for Libero, is the author of two bestsellers about the Vatican of the recent years, both printed by the same publishing house, “Vatican Spa”, with the secret archives of a monsignor who worked for IOR, and – as already said – His Holiness with the letters and the private documents of Pope Benedict XVI (the so-called Vatileaks).