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Things took an interesting turn here at the Vatican yesterday, in connection with a major financial scandal involving current and former officials of the Secretariat of State and the Holy See’s financial institutions and watchdogs, offices of which were raided earlier this month by the Vatican police.
In the middle of Monday afternoon, the Press Office of the Holy See announced that Pope Francis had accepted the resignation of 57-year-old Domenico Giani, who had been the commander of the Corps of Gendarmes — the Vatican police force — since 2006, having joined the force in 1999.
Resignation - Wake - Service - Order - Names
The resignation came in the wake of a leaked service order with the names and faces of five Vatican officials suspended pending investigation into suspicious transactions connected to a €200 million real estate deal involving a Sloane Street commercial development in London. Four of the five persons were barred from entry to the city state. The other, a cleric, resides in the Casa Santa Marta.
The reason given for the resignation was the damage done to the image of the Corps and the reputations of the five individuals identified in the order. The five officials are suspended pending investigation. They are not charged with any crime, nor is it clear that the real estate deal under investigation involved wrongdoing of any sort, let alone criminal behaviour. “[A]lthough the Commander bears no personal responsibility in the unfolding of the events,” the Press Office statement reads, “Domenico Giani has tendered his resignation to the Holy Father out of love for the Church and faithfulness to Peter’s Successor.”
Order - Guardhouse - Entrance - Vatican - City
The order was posted in every guardhouse at every entrance to Vatican City, with both the Gendarmes and the Pontifical Swiss Guards.
The statement from the Press Office of the Holy See recalls Giani’s “twenty years of unquestionable faithfulness and loyalty,” and says Pope...
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