Vatican Police Raid Bishop’s Home and Office in Financial Crackdown

Italian police stand in front of St. Peter's basilica in the Vatican on March 27, 2015. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)
FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty

ROME — Vatican police raided the office and apartment of Bishop Alberto Perlasca, a former official in the Vatican Secretariat of State, seizing documents and computer equipment, according to a Holy See communiqué.

“This morning, as part of a search ordered by the Promoter of Justice, Gian Piero Milano, and the Adjunct Alessandro Diddi, documents and computer equipment were seized from the office and home of Bishop Alberto Perlasca, former head of the Administrative Office of the First Section of the Secretariat of State,” Tuesday’s statement reads.

The communiqué said that the raid was part of an ongoing investigation into “financial investments and real estate of the Secretariat of State.”

Tuesday’s operation was the second such raid conducted on officials of the Vatican’s Secretariat of State and makes Perlasca the sixth and highest ranking Vatican official to be implicated in the scandal surrounding the Holy See’s finances.

As Breitbart News reported last December, the Vatican has been shaken by a series of revelations of questionable financial dealings, including subsidizing Hollywood films and purchasing multimillion-dollar properties in downtown London.

The Vatican invested more than a million dollars to finance the Rocketman film, a biopic of singer-songwriter Elton John, using money donated by the Catholic faithful through worldwide “Peter’s Pence” collections.

Vatican prosecutors are also examining Vatican investments made through the Malta-based Centurion Global Fund that financed an eclectic series of projects including real estate, mineral water, websites, and films. Vatican capital makes up around two-thirds of the funds managed by Centurion Global.

The Vatican has become a 25 percent partner in Lapo Elkann’s eyewear company Italia Independent, while also becoming a $11 million partner with industrialist Enrico Preziosi, the chairman of the Genoa soccer team.

Along with the Rocketman film, the Vatican also invested $3.65 million into the production of the 2019 Men in Black International film featuring Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson.

The Vatican’s biggest investment ($17.7 million) went to the Swiss-Swedish ABB company, which produces parts for nuclear power stations and allegedly participated in the destruction of a Malaysian rain forest.

Pope Francis has acknowledged that the Secretariat of State’s investment of some $200 million in a London luxury property development in Chelsea had caused a “scandal.”

“They have done things that do not seem clean,” he said.

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