Vatican security head resigns after memo was leaked

Clay Curtis
October 16, 2019

Giani, a 20-year veteran of the Vatican's safety companies, has stood by Francis' aspect and jogged alongside his popemobile throughout a whole bunch of public appearances and worldwide journeys.

Bruni said that "the gravity" of this leak is comparable, in the words of Pope Francis, "to a mortal sin, because it is damaging to the dignity of the people and of the principle of presumption of innocence".

The statement acknowledges that the perpetrator of the latest leak "remains unknown", even though it was distributed only among the Vatican police force, the Gendarmerie, and the Swiss Guards.

An investigation into the real estate deal was opened after the Vatican received complaints from the Vatican bank, known as the Institute for Works of Religion, and the auditor general's office against "unknown persons", Reuters reported.

It started with an unprecedented and unexplained october 2 raid by Giani's men on two key Vatican offices, the Financial Information Authority (AIF) and the Secretariat of State.

The Pope expressed his appreciation for the gesture, which the statement calls "an expression of freedom and institutional sensitivity, which honors Commander Giani and the work he has carried out with humility and discretion in the service of the Petrine Ministry and the Holy See".

The Holy Father also thanked Commander Giani for his "extreme competence" and for "the undisputed professionalism he has brought to the Vatican Gendarmerie".

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There has been no announcement as to what position Giani will continue to occupy within the Vatican, if any, and in the context of reports of a looming financial scandal in the Vatican - a possible new Vatileaks - there are questions of whether the commander's resignation will be the last one we'll see in the coming months.

Giani didn't take responsibility for the mishap but resigned to avoid disrupting the investigation and "out of love for the church and faithfulness" to the pope.

A former officer in the Italian intelligence service, Giani began his Vatican career in 1999 during St. John Paul II's papacy, serving as deputy police chief under his predecessor, Camillo Cibin. Gauzzi, who has been a part of the Vatican police force since 1995, was also responsible for developing the Vatican's cyber security network.

According to The Financial Times, the investigation centred on $200m (£160m; €180m) in Swiss bank accounts controlled by the Vatican which had been used to finance a luxury property development in the London district of Chelsea, and which had resulted in huge profit for the original seller.

"Having always said that I would be willing to sacrifice my life to defend the pope, I took the decision to resign with the same spirit, and to not in any way harm the image and activities of the pope", he told Vatican media. Both travel with the pope when he leaves the Vatican.

The raid was attempting to find evidence for suspected financial wrongdoing.

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