Becciu Blames Pope Francis?
Cardinal Angelo Becciu is on a month-long break from his trial in Vatican City, where he faces charges of abuse of office, embezzlement, and conspiracy.
The former sostituto at the Secretariat of State was originally scheduled to make his second appearance in court at the beginning of this month, but after the pope decided to waive the pontifical secret for his former chief of staff, Becciu’s legal team discovered which required his appearance in court be pushed back by a month.
The cardinal will likely spend at least some of that month with his lawyers, revising his trial strategy — which could lean heavily on discussing what the pope knew, and approved, about his alleged actions.
Perhaps the most interesting consideration is whether Becciu will attempt to implicate Pope Francis in order to save himself.
“Taking sides against the family” might usually violate his personal code, but the situation has changed for Becciu. The cardinal might earnestly believe Pope Francis has left him holding the bag after his efforts to serve the pontiff went south.
And if Becciu feels he has been betrayed, the next chapter of his courtroom drama might well be the most dramatic.
When he last appeared in court, on March 17, Becciu opened his appearance with a grand declaration of his “total willingness to seek and tell the truth.”
Becciu answered questions that day about his alleged actions to steer Church funds to members of his own family, confidently asserting that depositing hundreds of thousands of euros into his brother’s personal bank account was a standard Vatican practice for dealing with charitable endeavors, and defending his patronage of projects in his native Sardinia.
It remains to be seen how persuaded the judges will be by those answers.
But after the pope’s decision to lift the pontifical secret for Becciu, trial-watchers know the most complicated and potentially sensitive matters will be discussed when Becciu is back in the courtroom.