Vatican’s longtime security chief and Pope Francis bodyguard resigns over leak

epa07917283 Pope Francis during the canonization Mass of five new Saints in St. Peters Square at the Vatican, 13 October 2019. Five new Saints are canonized at the Vatican on 13 October 2019, namely Brazilian Sister Dulce Lopes Pontes, Swiss Franciscan tertiary Marguerite Bays, Sister Giuseppina Vannini, India's Mother Mariam Thresia Mankidiyan, and British Cardinal John Henry Newman. EPA-EFE/Riccardo Antimiani

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Domenico Giani, the Vatican’s longtime security chief and Pope Francis’ main bodyguard, resigned on Monday over the leak of information from an investigation into alleged financial wrongdoing in the Vatican.

The Holy See Press Office released a statement on Monday detailing the reasons for Domenico Giani’s resignation, which relate to a leaked document he signed in his capacity as the Commander of the Vatican Gendarmerie.

The departure of Giani, 57, a former member of Italy’s secret services who had been in the Vatican post since 2006, follows an unprecedented and unexplained raid by his men on two key Vatican offices, the Financial Information Authority (AIF) and the Secretariat of State, on Oct 2.

The statement calls its publication “prejudicial to the dignity of the people involved and to the image of the Gendarmerie.”

Reuters reports that since then, the Vatican has been in turmoil over the leak of an internal police notice bearing pictures of five Vatican employees, including the number two at AIF and a monsignor in the Secretariat of State.

The news agency reports that “Vatican sources said the pope was furious over the leak of the notice, which showed the five, including a woman, in a format similar to a “most wanted” flyer. It was issued to guards at Vatican gates telling them the five could not enter because they had been “preventively suspended”.

The pope ordered an investigation into the leak, the Vatican said. Sources said the pope was upset that the five had been branded in such a way even though they formally had not been suspected of anything specific and that the investigation, into an international real estate deal, was still in its infancy.

When police raided the offices, seizing documents and electronic devices, the Vatican said it was a follow-up to complaints filed in the summer by the Vatican bank and the Office of the Auditor General, and were related to “financial operations carried out over the course of time”.

Giani’s resignation was announced by the Vatican.

Via Reuters / Vatican News 

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