The Vatican finds irregularities in the sale of real estate belonging to the clergy in Buenos Aires | International

The Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Mario Poli, celebrates a mass for the day of San Cayetano, patron saint of work, in August 2020.
The Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Mario Poli, celebrates a mass for the day of San Cayetano, patron saint of work, in August 2020.AGUSTIN MARCARIAN (Reuters)

Bad news came from the Vatican to the Archbishopric of the city of Buenos Aires. An audit ordered by Pope Francis detected irregularities in the sale and rental of clergy real estate at below-market prices. The mission, made up of two overseers, warned Archbishop Mario Poli, who succeeded Francis in office when he was elected Pope in 2013, due to the lack of formation of two internal control bodies. He also urged him to limit the economic transactions of his delegation to those “strictly necessary.” Poli will turn 75 in November, the age at which he must present his resignation to Rome.

The suspicions about the curia of the Argentine capital have no historical background. The investigation was ordered by Francisco, who was thoroughly familiar with the movements of the Archbishopric that he led for 15 years. His successor, Mario Poli, traveled to Rome this week. The Argentine clerical authorities clarified that Poli’s visit has nothing to do with the audit, but with his obligations as cardinal, long delayed by the pandemic. They also disassociated themselves from suspicions of fraud. “During the visit, the archdiocesan administration made all the accounting documentation available, and in no case were crimes or negotiations detected. At the end, they called for improving decision-making processes regarding the administration of economic resources at the service of evangelization,” they said from the Archbishopric of the Argentine capital through an extensive statement.

The audit carried out by the Vatican bears the signature of the prefect and the secretary of the Vatican Congregation for the Clergy, Archbishops Lazzaro You Heung-sik and Andrés Ferrada Moreira. The text, to which the Argentine newspaper had access Clarion, It does not detail specific real estate operations, but it warns that the Archbishopric had not formed the two internal offices in charge of supervising economic transactions. “It is perplexing that, despite the presence of a large Episcopal Council, the College of Consultors is not constituted (…) and that, in fact, the Council for Economic Affairs is inoperative, since its redefinition is being considered. ”. You Heung-sik and Andrés Ferrada Moreira also ask Cardinal Poli to try, “as far as possible, not to dispose of more assets belonging to the archdiocese or to the parishes, which seems to have happened frequently in recent times.”

From the Archbishopric of Buenos Aires they replied that “there are many solidarity works that are being carried out, particularly in recent times due to the pandemic.” For this reason, they justified, “for years, the Archdiocese has traveled a path for better administration and use of assets, placed at the service of the evangelizing and charitable work of the Church.”

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