Becciu, Ior and the Knights of Malta (the Pope receives Inspector Vatileaks)

Becciu, Ior and the Knights of Malta (the Pope receives Inspector Vatileaks)

The in-depth analysis of Andrea Mainardi in the wake of the Becciu case

(Second part of Mainardi's study; here the first part )

These, only these, would be the "charges" challenged to Becciu . Not the millionaire affair with fixers and financiers and bankers whose names refer to links with the highest salons of the Roman political-banking bourgeoisie and beyond – this is a field to be explored. Instead, the extent of the dismissal so sensational in the forms envisaged by Bergoglio appears at least exaggerated.

So: can we also acknowledge a momentary precipitate of the character of the Argentine Pope on the 24th evening around 6 pm in audience with Becciu? Yes. Francis is not new to granting hearings for a reason and then communicating draconian decisions.

The examples abound: Gerhard Müller, liquidated in a scheduled audience (not specially convened) and immediately removed from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, with the explanation that after five years in the Curia – effectively completed by the German cardinal – the mandate was to be considered non-renewable. But this was not the case for other senior curial leaders. The Pontifical Yearbook is there.

Going to more earthly characters. End of the year 2018. Vatican spokesman Greg Burke and deputy Paloma Garcia Ovejero go to the Pope to express their perplexity towards the direction of the Dicastery for Communication. They come out resigning. And happy New Year.

It is not known that it was communicated to Georg Gaenswein, secretary of the Pope Emeritus and Prefect of the Papal Household. A position that he holds formally but has been ousted for many months.

And what about Raymond Leo Burke, the cardinal appointed by Francis to act as patron of the Sovereign Order of Malta and then placed in the freezer: he remains in office, but has no longer any relevance since 2017.

It's still. What we have to do is return to Malta.

In the turbulent months in which Matthew Festing, then Grand Master of the Order of Malta, in January 2017, went to the Pope to ask for help for what he said were interference from the Secretariat of State. That happens? In a few minutes he too comes out resigned.

Here: Festing, Burke. The Order of Malta. The complex story of the knights is closely intertwined with Becciu.

The now halved cardinal, then “simple” archbishop, was sent by Francis between Villa Malta and via Condotti as his special delegate to untie the knots of a controversy on the last velvet. The one that leads Festing and Burke in tandem to suspend Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager, considered too liberal in matters of morals in his position as head of charitable, health and welfare affairs.

We have seen it: Burke ends up retiring in his apartment near St. Peter's. He retains the role but no longer has any impact: he does not even show up at liturgical celebrations. Maybe they don't invite him. Festing is resigned and returns to England.

Boeselager instead returns to the saddle. Fully rehabilitated. Currently the Baron of the Order is Grand Chancellor. His figure is of no small importance normally. Even more so after the death of Fra 'Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta elected in May 2018. He died on 29 April 2020.

Giacomo's brother, Giuseppe, was president of the Vatican City State Court until 2019. Today there are others in his place in court. Signatures are taken on search and arrest decrees that leave us perplexed. And it is not a question of guarantee. The arrest of one of the key figures in the millionaire London real estate operation, Gianluigi Torzi – later released – for the modalities leaves more than doubt. Will he have revealed details that satisfy the right Vatican investigation lines or a new justicialist vein?

Anyway. Let's go back to Malta again.

The Grand Chancellor of the Order Boeselager is considered by his detractors to be the leader of a "German" party interpreted as aiming at a reform of the Order in a more secular sense than the religious vocation.

"Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum" is the motto of the millennial order of chivalry: to defend and witness the faith and serve the poor and the sick. “Sick gentlemen” are defined with undeniable respect for the person by the members of the Order. From nobles to simple volunteers. It is on record. It is enough to pass through Lourdes during their pilgrimage.

For the sake of reporting, it should be remembered that Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager's brother, Georg, sits on the board of the IOR, the Institute for Religious Works. In short: the Vatican bank branch. The appointment belongs to the secretary of state, or cardinal Pietro Parolin. Former superior of Becciu in the Terza Loggia. A year ago the impulse to investigate the purchase of the London building where (maybe yes, maybe not) the Vatican lost money started from the IOR. Operation the London one led by Becciu. Then he was transferred to the Congregation of Saints and dealt with it more.

The fact is that after that investigation into London investments, the commander of the Vatican gendarmes, Domenico Giani, was fired. For a rotogravure stuff: mugshots of the then suspects posted at the border guards and ended up in the press. About Vatileaks.

Persons suspended and banned from the State of Peter. Without trial. Without the parachutes of a half-sized cardinal like Becciu. Be that as it may, Giani is considered very close to Becciu. That on that matter has never been investigated.

Now who knows?

Last lap in Malta. To the Order between Aventino and Piazza di Spagna. The reform of the Constitutions of the Order must be reformed: procedures linked to a noble belonging to the first class – the ruling one – and which must be certified and with exclusive lineages considered anachronistic. If only the candidates to preside over the knights are now elderly, the replacement is not seen. The reform is hoped for by Francis.

However, the constitutional reform process has stalled. And not on this point, but on the religious charism of the Order. Steps have been taken in recent weeks. Stumbled and impervious. Between forward and dry escapes.

Also because time is short: after the Covid break, the Conclave of the Knights is set for November.

In the meantime, observers were given the impression that a reform in the "secular" sense is the predominant one from the political-internal point of view, but not the majority at the global level.

Becciu – it is not clear whether he will continue to follow the dispute, which is not easy, between the various souls of the knights, having lost the trust of the Pope – despite the expectations of some as a delegate of the Holy Father he has shown himself in recent months – and on more than one occasion – very firm to preserve tradition and renewal. Stopping leaks forward and trying to mediate.

But the fact is that something is wrong for Angelo. Even there.

A few pebbles took it off. It is June 24, the feast of the nativity of St. John the Baptist, patron saint of the Order of Malta. Said Becciu at the Mass with the knight leaders: it is necessary to flee "the temptation to exploit the works to obtain the consent around you". Could some brocade of incumbent nobles perhaps have begun to curl?

Be that as it may, after Becciu's quick dismissal in the evening of the 24th, the following day – the Official Bulletin of the Holy See informs us – Francis received Salvatore De Giorgi, cardinal and archbishop emeritus of Palermo in audience.

A case, of course.

Like everyone else.

Be that as it may, De Giorgi is one of the three cardinals called by Benedict XVI to investigate the first Vatileaks. With him in the commission of inquiry were Julián Herranz Casado and Jozef Tomko. All that investigative work ended up in some boxes of papers personally delivered to Francesco dall'Emerito on the occasion of their first meeting in Castel Gandolfo after the Conclave. Of those papers only Bergoglio, Ratzinger and the three commissioners have knowledge.

It is a coincidence, of course.

Yet something is seething, and it is not the money from the Pope's charity that ended up in a diocesan Caritas on the recommendation of a then Substitute who has several things to clarify. Not via tweets or press conferences. The measure adopted by Bergoglio against him is too strong.

Otherwise, here the farce ends and the tragedy begins. But really.

(2nd end; first part here )


This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/mondo/becciu-papa-ior-vatileaks/ on Mon, 28 Sep 2020 07:00:03 +0000.