Vatican denies crib corruption scandal link

Last updated 08:42 14/12/2012

Relevant offers


Kiwi woman 'overbalanced' and fatally fell from Melbourne apartment - police France rumbles 'The Jungle': Fear and questions hang over doomed migrant camp 'The leaning tower of San Francisco': Scandal as 58-storey high-rise for the city's well-heeled sinks Plane crashes on takeoff at Malta airport, 5 aboard killed Shakespeare's Henry VI co-author finally gets a writing credit, 400 years on Galaxy Note 7 recall: More than 500 sue Samsung for $616 Rurik Jutting: British banker 'filmed killing and torture' of two women in his luxury Hong Kong high rise, jury told 'Hitler reborn' jailed for killing Australian man he blamed for his father's death AJ Hackett to open new "world's highest bungy" - in China Iceland braces for a Pirate Party takeover, as Western politics continues 2016 shake-up

The Vatican claims there is no link between its decision to accept the gift of a nativity scene in St Peter's Square and allegations that it had previously paid inflated prices to have them built.

This year's larger-than-life Christmas tableau depicting the biblical scene of Jesus's birth, worth about €90,000 (NZ$139,600), was donated by the southern region of Basilicata, one of Italy's poorest.

Some of the documents that sparked this year's 'Vatileaks' scandal indicated that in 2009 the Vatican paid an Italian company six times that amount, about €550,000 (NZ$850,000), to build its nativity scene in the square.

The letters, leaked to the media, mentioned the payment as an example of corruption in the city state's business dealings.

Monsignor Giuseppe Sciacca, deputy governor of the Vatican City, was asked by reporters whether accepting a donated crib was a response to the scandal.

"This is exclusively the result of the offer by the Basilicata region to give us this gift, which, with a minimum of good sense, has been accepted," he said.

In the leaked documents, Sciacca's predecessor, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, said the exorbitant cost of the 2009 crib was an example of how the Vatican was losing money through corruption.

Vigano said he had managed almost to halve the cost of the 2010 crib. He was subsequently transferred to the United States, despite an appeal to his superiors to be allowed stay in his job, in what he saw as punishment for doing his work too well.

Two people were convicted by a Vatican court over the leaks of documents.

Paolo Gabriele, the Pope's former butler, is now serving an 18-month jail sentence in a Vatican jail cell for stealing sensitive papal documents and leaking them to the media.

A computer expert was given a suspended sentence for obstructing justice in the case.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content