In 2016 the Vatican opened “an investigation into the financing of the restoration of former Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone’s large apartment, targeting two former executives at a children’s hospital owned by the city-state for possible redirection of funds towards the project. These executives who were subjected to the investigation were Giuseppe Profiti, a former hospital president and Massimo Spina, a former treasurer. They were investigated for the use of some 400,000 Euro towards restoration of Bertone’s apartment, based on reporting done by journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi in his November 2015 book Avarizia (“Avarice”).
Gregory Burke, the deputy director of the Vatican press office, told reporters in a short briefing “that the cardinal himself was not under investigation but that two former officials of the Bambino Gesu Hospital in Rome are.”
Yet, it is important to note that even in the Vatican, everything is done within the family. The Bambino Gesu children’s hospital happened to be “owned by the Vatican and located in Rome just a short walk from the city-state.”
And, to keep on doing things within the family, Cardinal Bertone had made a large donation of 150,000 Euro to the hospital a few months before. Is this a case of “I scratch my back and you scratch yours?”
“The cardinal, who essentially served as the Vatican’s number two official after the pope from 2006 through October 2013, has been criticized for combining two previous apartments inside the Vatican into one reportedly 6,500 square foot residence.”
“Bertone originally said he had gotten Pope Francis’ backing for the project, saying in April 2014 that he had received a call from the pontiff after an initial round of reporting on the new residence and that Francis expressed ‘his sympathy and his disappointment for the attacks against me.'”
‘The apartment is spacious, as is normal for the residences in the ancient palaces of the Vatican, and dutifully restored (at my expense),’ Bertone wrote then in a posting on the website of the Italian archdiocese of Genoa, which the cardinal led from 2002-06.
‘I may temporarily use and after me it will benefit someone else,’ he continued. “In the words of the Pope Saint John XXIII, ‘I do not stop to pick up the stones that are thrown at me.'”
“Bertone, aged 81, does not currently hold any significant office at the Vatican. He served as the secretary of state under Pope Benedict XVI and for the first few months of Francis’ pontificate, before being replaced by Italian Cardinal Pietro Parolin.”
“Fittipaldi is one of two Italian journalists currently the subject of a Vatican trial for publishing confidential documents. The trial, which is ongoing, has been criticized by several international journalists’ associations as inhibiting the free press.”