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Becciu back in court as Vatican trial resumes; attorneys argue Pope has abused authority (Pillar)

Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu oversaw the internal affairs of the Roman Curia as Substitute (Sostituto) of the Secretariat of State from 2011 to 2018. Pope Francis created him a cardinal in the 2018 consistory and named him Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. In 2020, Becciu resigned from the “rights connected to the cardinalate.”

On February 18, Becciu’s attorneys argued that “Pope Francis had inappropriately used his sovereign power to dispense prosecutors from observing Vatican legal norms, and had changed procedural laws after the investigation was already underway,” according to the Pillar’s report.

“Up to this point, no one in the Vatican system was really in a position to assess authoritatively whether Francis ever abused his authority,” writes veteran Vatican journalist John Allen. “Now, in a sense, that’s precisely the call Pignatone is being asked to make.” [In 2019, Pope Francis appointed longtime Italian prosecutor Giuseppe Pignatone as president of the Vatican City State Tribunal.


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