Pope Francis Becciu Pell
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis today received in private audience the apostolic nuncio to Australia amid allegations that hundreds of thousands of euros were sent from the Secretariat of State to the nunciature in Canberra around the time of Cardinal George Pell’s trial for sexual abuse.Vatican sources have told the Register that the Pope summoned Filipino Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana to Rome in order to learn more about what happened to the funds. The Register asked the Vatican for confirmation of the reason for the visit but has so far received no response.
The news of the meeting follows Italian media reports last week that Vatican officials had compiled a dossier allegedly showing a bank transfer of 700,000 euros — approximately $1 million Australian — that Cardinal Angelo Becciu’s department had sent to an “Australian account” in 2017. Cardinal Becciù was sostituto, or deputy secretary of state, at the time.
Archbishop Yllana was appointed to nuncio to Australia in 2015, succeeding Archbishop Paul Gallagher, now the Vatican’s “foreign minister.” The Register has learned that Archbishop Yllana and Cardinal Becciu are friends. Born the same year (1948), they both entered the Holy See diplomatic service within months of each other in 1984.