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In yet another scandal to plague The Vatican, an Italian television show has revealed how a former top official was transferred against his will after exposing financial irregularities in the city’s functioning, Reuters reported.The show “The Untouchables”, on private television network La 7 Wednesday night showed several letters that Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the erstwhile deputy-governor of Vatican City, sent to superiors, including Pope Benedict, in 2011 about the corruption.
The Vatican criticised the “questionable journalistic methods” used in the investigation, while confirming the letters were authentic and expressing “disappointment over the revelation of reserved documents” in a statement posted on Vatican Radio’s website.
As deputy-governor of the Vatican City from 2009 to 2011, Vigano was the No. 2 official in a department responsible for maintaining the city-state’s infrastructure.
Soon after his appointment, Vigano discovered corruption, nepotism and cronyism, especially in the awarding of contracts to outside companies at inflated prices, which he sought to remedy.
The TV program interviewed a member of the bankers’ committee — whose face was blurred and voice changed to protect his identity — who said Vigano had a reputation as a “ballbreaker” among companies that had contracts with the Vatican, because of his emphasis on transparency and fair competition.
While Vigano turned Vatican City’s budget from deficit to surplus during his tenure through cost-cutting, it made him some enemies, who had unsigned articles criticising him as inefficient published in the Italian newspaper Il Giornale in 2011.
On March 22, 2011, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone removed Vigano from his position for reasons identical to those published in an anonymous articles published against him.
After writing to Bertone in vain, Vigano wrote directly to the pope, explaining how he had worked hard to “eliminate corruption, private interests and dysfunction that are widespread in various departments.”
Despite this, Vigano was named ambassador to Washington in October of last year after the sudden death of the previous envoy, a post he still occupies, according to The Washington Post.
The Holy See Press Office Director, Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. said the Vatican was justified in transferring Vigano, and such reports formed part of the “biased coverage of the Vatican and the Catholic Church.”
The Vatican also warned it could take legal action against the TV show, according to the AP.