London property scandal was a ‘Via Crucis,’ says archbishop at Vatican trial

by | Mar 17, 2023 | Religion

ROME (RNS) — Testifying at a Vatican trial, Venezuelan Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra, the Vatican substitute, an equivalent of a papal chief of staff, compared the events leading to the failed London property deal with Jesus’ agonizing march toward crucifixion.On the 51st session of the Vatican trial into the controversial property deal, Peña Parra, who is the highest ranking official yet to testify, said the Vatican was ultimately deceived by Gianluigi Torzi, an Italian broker who is accused of defrauding the Vatican of millions.
“Torzi had the power, and we couldn’t do it any other way,” said Peña Parra Thursday (March 16). He then described it as a “Via Crucis, indeed a double Via Crucis. If the Lord fell three times, we fell six times.”
At the trial, Peña Parra answered questions for more than four hours from both prosecutors and defense lawyers regarding his role in the Vatican’s withdrawal from the controversial property deal, which he inherited after he succeeded Cardinal Angelo Becciu as Vatican chief of staff in 2018.
Becciu, who resigned the privileges of cardinal in 2020, is among the 10 defendants in the trial accused of financial malfeasance.
Peña Parra said he was informed about the dire circumstances of the deal by Monsignor Alberto Perlasca, th …

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