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Italian Rogue of the Week – Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone

While nominating a cardinal of the Roman Catholic church may reduce my, admittedly limited, chances of beatification, it is something I’m prepared to risk in order to bring accusations facing one Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone to your attention.

Cardinal Bertone, a former Vatican Secretary of State, came within a hair’s breadth of earning the Italian Rogue of the Week title when I learned that he was to retire to a massive 700 square metre (7,500 square feet) luxury apartment in Rome.

Exactly why one single old man should need such a huge apartment is anyone’s guess, though the esteemed cardinal in question must believe he merits it. While Bertone’s apartment brought the good cardinal close to earning the Italian Rogue of the Week title, what clinched it was something else: accusations of embezzlement.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone

The news breaking in Italy, via Germany, concerns reports that Cardinal Bertone is under investigation for embezzlement.

Bertone is believed to have pocketed a whopping €15 million for his own personal projects. German newspaper Bild first covered the story, though Vatican sources say Bertone is not under investigation. The Vatican has also denied that Cardinal Bertone has a luxurious Rome retirement apartment.

On the embezzlement front, other news websites in Italy are stating that the Vatican has opened investigations into Bertone’s alleged misuse of Vatican money.

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That a Cardinal should even be suspected of such a crime is enough to earn the title Italian Rogue of the Week on Italy Chronicles.

Cardinal Bertone is no stranger to controversy and once, on the subject of homosexuality and child abuse, “Bertone, sparked [the] controversy on a visit to Chile when he suggested gay sexuality was to blame for the church’s child abuse scandals”.

Incidentally, the Pope himself lives in much more humble lodgings than the might Cardinal Bertone would like. Pope Francis was reportedly not too happy to hear about Bertone’s huge apartment.

For reasons unknown, when I attempt to type “Bertone”, I’ve ended up typing “Berlusconi”. A Freudian slip?

There goes my sainthood!


Bertone photograph by Wulfstan

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