Sunday, June 20, 2010

Archbishop of Naples under suspicion of corruption -

from OVB online

As the many abuse scandals put the church under fresh strain, a cardinal is caught in the wake of an investigation against a Roman building contractor.

The public prosecutor of Perugia has been investigating the present Archbishop of Naples, Crescenzio Sepe, because of serious corruption, Italian media reported on Sunday. It relates to non-transparent property transactions with which the now 67 -year-old is said to have earned at least € 2.5 million, between 2001-2006, when Sepe was Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

In addition to the Cardinal, among others, the former transport and construction minister, Pietro Lunardi, and Roman building contractor, Diego Anemone are implicated in the corruption case. The latter has been investigated for months by the authorities in Perugia. The relates to million dollar construction tenders awarded in the course of the G8 Summit in Italy in 2009. It was not until early May that the industry minister of the government of Silvio Berlusconi, Claudio Scajola resigned under allegations of having been paid bribes by a luxury by Anemone so he could build luxury apartments near the Coliseum.

The Vatican reacted calmly. It had "full confidence" that the situation could resolve itself within a short time, and "every shadow on both the person and the Vatican institutions will be removed," Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said on Sunday. He also gave assurances that the cardinal will cooperate with the authorities - "under the provisions of the Concordat between the Holy See and the Italian state."