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Vatican reacts angrily to corruption allegations aired on Italian TV

Pope Benedict XVI was personally told by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano of an alleged web of corruption in the Vatican but the messenger was soon transferred away from the seat of ecclesiastic power, according to the TV network La 7.

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Pope Benedict XVI, 84, born Joseph Alosius Ratzinger of Germany. According to an Italian television broadcast on Wednesday, he was personally informed by a senior of Vatican official of nepotism and bid-rigging costing millions of dollars. (Wikimedia commons)

The Vatican has reacted angrily to allegations of corruption after an Italian television program aired internal letters complaining of bid-rigging, according to Reuters.

The Vatican press office said today that the television program Gli Intoccabili, or “The Untoucables” had engaged in a pattern of “biased coverage of the Vatican and the Catholic Church,” according to Catholic World News.

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The allegations are that Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, then deputy governor of Vatican City, was transferred to Washington, where he is now apostolic nuncio to the US, after complaining of corruption in awarding contracts.

According to Reuters, the television program showed letters it said Vigano had written to his superiors, including Pope Benedict, last year. Vigano was transferred in October.

Vigano said in the letters that when he took over as deputy governor in 2009 he uncovered a web of graft, cronyism and nepotism that awarded contracts to outside companies at inflated prices, accoding to Reuters. He was quoted as saying that other senior Vatican officials were seeking to transfer him in order to end his anticorruption efforts.

"Holy Father, my transfer right now would provoke much disorientation and discouragement in those who have believed it was possible to clean up so many situations of corruption and abuse of power that have been rooted in the management of so many departments," Vigano reportedly wrote to the pope on March 27.

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In another letter, Vigano reportedly said of a committee of Italian bankers, “they made us lose two and a half million dollars.”

The Vatican has confirmed the authenticity of the letters but expressed “sadness over the publication of reserved documents.”

According to Catholic World News, the Vatican has hinted it may take legal action against the network La 7, claiming the broadcast had used “questionable journalistic methods.” Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, denied that Vigano had been transferred as demotion and said Vigano was not alone in seeking greater efficiency in the administration of Vatican affairs.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/italy/120126/vatican-reacts-angrily-corruption-allegations-aired-italia