Pope Francis has appointed a commissioner to investigate the body that manages St Peter’s Basilica. Source: The Tablet.
By Christopher Lamb, The Tablet
Along with this appointment, the Vatican has also announced that electronic devices and documents were seized yesterday from the offices of the Fabbrica di San Pietro (The Fabric of St Peter), following a report by the Holy See’s auditor.
The Fabric of St Peter has responsibility for the running and maintenance of St Peter’s, the symbolic heart of the Church and home to the tomb of the first Pope.
The management of the basilica, which until COVID-19 struck attracted thousands of visitors a day, is led by Cardinal Angelo Comastri although it operates as a separate entity to the rest of the Roman Curia. There is no suggestion the cardinal is under investigation.
Archbishop Mario Giordana, a retired papal diplomat, has been tasked by the Pope to reorganise the “administrative and technical offices” of the Fabric and to work on updating its statutes. In a statement, the Vatican explained that in carrying out “this delicate task” he would be assisted by a commission.
This move was taken, the Holy See explained, following a new transparency law issued by the Pope on the use of outside contractors by the Church’s central administration, an important step forward in Francis’ ongoing reforms of Vatican finances.
Archbishop Giordano has carried out delicate investigations before: in 2018, he conducted internal probes into the Sistine Chapel Choir, which was then placed under investigation by the Pope for suspected financial regularities. The choir is now under new management.
In its statement, the Vatican explained the seizing of documents was authorised by the city state’s top prosecutor, Gian Piero Milano, and adjunct promoter of justice, Alessandro Diddi.