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Ex-Vatican Chief Auditor says he was fired for investigating financial irregularities of Holy See

After learning about financial irregularities at the Holy See, the former Chief Auditor of the Vatican earned the moniker "Epistle-blower."

Following their dismissal in 2017, Libeor Milone and his deputy have now filed a €9.3 million lawsuit against the Holy See.

Following their attempts to look into the Vatican's "off the books" Swiss bank accounts, Milone and Ferruccio Panicco were accused of misconduct and fired. They are now suing for damages for loss of earnings, reputational harm, and emotional distress.

According to reports, Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu openly accused both individuals of spying on the personal lives of Holy See members.

Former head of Deloitte Italy, Milone earned the nickname "Epistle-blower" for his revelations. He was chosen to create a Vatican auditor-general's office.

Mr. Milone has claimed that his and his team's demands for additional information on a Vatican-owned Swiss bank account were "stonewalled" despite the establishment of such an office to investigate and clean up the financial affairs of the Church.

Now it is known that the Holy See invested almost £300 million (€342 million) in a luxury London real estate development using the bank accounts.

While Cardinal Becciu served as second in charge, the Vatican secretariat approved the plan to invest such a substantial sum of money.

The Vatican asserted there was "irrefutable evidence" against Mr. Milone at the time of his dismissal, but they have now retracted the accusation.

Mr. Milone has consistently denied allegations of improper behavior and asserted that being fired has damaged his reputation.

"I’m put on the cross because I did the right things," he told reporters. "There’s a small mafia in the Vatican that tries to block any change and keep things as they are… They still live in the medieval era."

Cardinal Becciu was one of ten people the Vatican prosecutor indicted last year for financial crimes, and he was relieved of his duties in the Vatican in 2020. His trial is ongoing. 

According to Mr. Milone, his time at the Holy See was the "most challenging" of his professional life. He claimed he encountered pushback from senior officials who disapproved of his efforts to bring transparency to the religious organisation.

He said he used to meet with the Pope on a monthly basis, but that he had lost access to those sessions in the year before he was fired. He also said that shortly after taking on his new position, he learned that his office had been bugged.

When asked about how difficult it had been for him to find work after being fired, Mr. Milone responded, "In Italy, there is a high level of embarrassment when the Vatican is involved… you can’t go and cross the Vatican."


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