The Catholic Weekly 11 October 2020

$2 11, October, 2020 FRENCH ACTOR A MAN OF FAITH FRANCIS’ LATEST ENCYCLICAL P10 P13 Looking for a new job? The allegations name the now-deposed Cardinal ... as the instigator of several financial transfers to accounts in Australia.” CARDINAL GEORGE Pell’s defence lawyer, Robert Rich- ter QC, has called for an Aus- tralian investigation into stun- ning allegations that Vatican funds were directed to bank accounts in Australia to sup- port efforts to convict the car- dinal during his trial. Italian media last week re- ported allegations that 700,000 euro (A$1.1 million) of Vatican funds were directed to bank accounts in Australia, possibly to help frame and falsely con- vict Cardinal George Pell in his trials on charges of sexually abusing minors. Mr Richter said the claims were serious and should be independently investigated by authorities with the capacity to track the money. The as-yet publicly un- substantiated allegations were reported by two Italian newspapers including the Mi- lan-based Corriere della Ser- ra , Italy’s largest circulation newspaper, citing unnamed sources within the Vatican connected with investigations into Cardinal Angelo Becciu. The allegations name the now-deposed Cardinal, the former Prefect of the Congre- gation for the Causes of Saints, as the instigator of several fi- nancial transfers to accounts in Australia. Cardinal Becciu has vehe- mently denied the allegations and protested his innocence. However his removal by Pope Francis from his posi- tion at the Saints Congrega- tion on 24 February – together with the removal of his rights as a cardinal - comes against Follow the money call Disturbing allegations of Vatican funds directed to Australia in attempt to frame case against Cardinal Pell ¾ ¾ Staff writers Theology’s ‘Nobel Prize’ for Aussie A QUIET, bookish Australian theologian teaching at the University of Notre Dame’s Sydney and Perth campuses has won Theology’s equiva- lent of the Nobel Prize. Dr Tracey Rowland was announced as one of 2020’s ¾ ¾ Peter Rosengren two winners of the Ratzinger Prize by the Vatican last week. The award is a stunning recognition of her work, making her the first Australi- an and only the thirdwoman to be named a winner since its establishment in 2011. Prof Rowland, who headed the John Paul II Institute as its Dean until its sudden clo- sure by Archbishop Dennis Hart in 2018, has long been considered by friends and academic admirers around the world as a stellar scholar of the modern Church. REPORT P4 a background of numerous questions raised over the last two years of shady or risky fi- nancial practices, impropriety and possible corruption dur- ing his time as a senior official in the Secretariat of State. The latest allegations, ac- cording to the Italian newspa- per Il Messaggero , were made by Monsignor Albert Perlas- ca, Cardinal Becciu’s former chief deputy at the Secretariat of State. The cardinal and the Monsignor worked together for several years overseeing aspects of curial governance, including the investment of Vatican finances. Mons Perlasca is believed to be cooperating with Vatican prosecutors as part of an on- going investigation into finan- cial misconduct at the Secre- tariat of State over a period of years. The allegations, which were picked up by the world’s me- dia, are the latest in a long list of questions which have been raised about Cardinal Becciu’s direction of Vatican funds and apparent serious gener- al problems in the handling of Vatican funds and invest- ments, including the role of Vatican financial institutions. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ‘I’m innocent’: Cardinal Angelo Becciu is pictured during a news conference in Rome on 25 September. PHOTO: CNS