Senior Vatican official Becciu quits

Cardinal has been linked to London property deal being probed

(ANSA) - ROME, SEP 25 - The Vatican said Thursday that one of the Holy See's top officials, Giovanni Angelo Becciu, has resigned as the head of the department that oversees sainthoods and will effectively step down as a cardinal.
    "Today, Thursday, 24 September, the Holy Father accepted the resignation from the office of Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and from the rights connected with the Cardinalate, presented by His Eminence Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu,." a Vatican statement said.
    The 72-year-old, the former Substitute of the Secretariat of State, has been linked to a London property deal involving Church money that Vatican prosecutors are investigating.
    Becciu said in an interview published on Friday that he did nothing wrong and implied that Pope Francis made him quit.
    "I said to the pope 'why are you doing this to me?' In front of the whole world," Becciu told daily newspaper Domani.
    "He said that I allegedly gave money to my brothers. I see no crimes and I am sure that the truth will come out.
    "I didn't steal even one euro. I am not under investigation but if they send me to trial, I will defend myself". (ANSA).


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