VATICAN Town, Feb 9 — Pope Francis, in a surprise move, these days granted an official non-public viewers to Cardinal Angelo Becciu, the as soon as-impressive Vatican prelate who is on trial for corruption and embezzlement.
When the pope and Becciu have satisfied on an unofficial basis considering that Francis dismissed him in 2020, it was the initially time due to the fact then that the cardinal experienced been on the pontiff’s general public listing of official audiences in the Apostolic Palace.
Giving the viewers such an formal and solemn character gave increase to speculation in some Catholic media that a rapprochement amongst the two or a rehabilitation of the cardinal may well be in the offing.
Becciu is a person of 10 defendants at the corruption trial, which revolves all-around the buy of a setting up in London by the Secretariat of Point out. It commenced in July 2020.
All of the defendants, who consist of Vatican personnel and Italian middlemen who the prosecution claims extorted the Vatican, have denied wrongdoing.
Pope Francis fired Becciu from a different senior clerical publish in 2020 for alleged nepotism, an accusation he also denies.
At the time of Becciu’s firing from that publish, he was also stripped of what the Vatican then reported have been his “rights connected with staying a cardinal”.
This incorporated the ideal to enter a mystery conclave to elect the next pope after Francis’s demise or resignation.
Ahead of he was fired, Becciu was a single of the most strong adult males in the Vatican. He was deputy secretary of state from 2011-2018 and then head of the Vatican office that experiments likely candidates for sainthood from 2018 to his dismissal in 2020.
In one of the most modern hearings of the demo, very last November, the court docket read a secretly recorded phone contact amongst Becciu and the pope. — Reuters