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Serious breach of the Pope’s trust

· Two arrested in the Vatican for disclosure of confidential information ·

Investigations conducted by the Vatican Gendarmerie have been under way for several months regarding the procurement and disclosure of information and confidential documents. Two people were summoned for interrogation on Saturday and Sunday, 31 October and 1 November, on the basis of facts and evidence gathered.

The individuals involved are Msgr Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda, and Francesca Chaouqui, who, respectively, were formerly the secretary and a member of the Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Organisation of the Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See (COSEA), established by the Pope in July 2013 and later dissolved after completing its mandate.

Following the results of interrogations, the two were detained in view of the ongoing investigation. On Tuesday, 2 November, from the Office of the Promoter of Justice, Gian Piero Milano, Promotor of Justice, and Roberto Zannotti, Assistant Promoter of Justice, confirmed the arrest of the above-named individuals. Ms Chaouqui cooperated with the investigation and, as cautionary measures were no longer deemed necessary, was later released. The position of Monsignor Vallejo Balda remains under consideration by the Office of the Promoter of Justice.

It should be recalled that the disclosure of information and confidential documents is an offence under Law no. IX of Vatican City State (13 July 2013), Article 10 (art. 116 bis C.P. ).

Regarding the books set to be published in the coming days, it should be clearly stated that this time too, as in the past, the acts are the fruit of a serious breach of the trust accorded by the Pope and, with regard to the authors, of an operation taking advantage of the seriously unlawful act of divulging confidential documents. The legal and potential penal implications of the operation are being considered by the Office of the Promotor in view of possible further measures that could eventually require international cooperation.

Publications of this type in no way contribute to the establishment of clarity and truth, but contribute instead to creating confusion along with partial and prejudicial interpretations. It is absolutely necessary to avoid the mistake of thinking that this is a way to help the Pope’s mission.




St. Peter’s Square

April 24, 2019