Vatican denies crib corruption scandal link

Last updated 08:42 14/12/2012

Relevant offers

World

Charlotte police release video of Keith Scott's shooting but doubts remain Hunt for ET begins as China's largest radio telescope starts operating Kidnap victim Natascha Kampusch bought dungeon house to stop 'theme park' Israel builds giant wall under the ground to keep Hamas out Snake selfie goes awry for man in northwestern India Donald Trump asks Bill Clinton's mistress to presidential debate - then flipflops Video captures dolphin jumping on young Australian surfer Jed Gradisen Suspect in fatal shooting of 5 at Washington state mall captured William and Kate arrive in Canada for their first royal tour as a family of four Jordanian writer shot dead outside court before trial over cartoon

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