In corruption trial, Vatican Bank chief says his office refused to bail out real estate deal

by | Feb 17, 2023 | Religion

ROME (RNS) — In Thursday’s 46th session of the Catholic Church’s marathon corruption trial, the president of the Vatican Bank said he had no choice but to report to prosecutors what he knew about the London real-estate deal at the heart of the inquiry, even as he faced pressure from officials at the Vatican’s Secretariat of State to approve a loan worth hundreds of millions of euro to bail out the failed investment.Jean-Baptiste De Franssu, president of the Institute for the Works of Religion, better known as the Vatican Bank, told the Vatican tribunal overseeing the trial that the Secretariat of State requested a loan of 150 million euro in order to renegotiate the mortgage on the luxury apartment complex in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood. 
After meeting with the Secretariat of State and the Vatican’s financial watchdog agency regarding the investment, the Vatican Bank flagged the loan request to Vatican prosecutors, who subsequently launched their own investigation.
“The time had come when the institute had no other choice, given the circumstances created and the uncertainty reached. The only thing that could be done was to file a complaint with the tribunal,” De Franssu told the court.

De Franssu, who has served as the bank’s president since 2014, said that de …

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