Arrested prelate denies stealing, laundering in letter to Pope
ROME (REUTERS) - A Catholic prelate at the centre of a suspected money-smuggling operation denied stealing and laundering cash in a letter he sent to Pope Francis from his jail cell.
Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, who is the target of two Italian criminal investigations, also said in the letter he tried to fight abusive activities by lay superiors in the Vatican's financial administration, which Pope Francis wants to reform.
Scarano worked for years as a senior accountant at the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, or APSA. Through APSA, he had access to the Vatican bank, where he had at least two accounts. Though not directly implicated in the money smuggling investigation, the Vatican bank has faced growing criticism for its persistent failure to meet international transparency standards.
Pope Francis has inherited a Church struggling to deal with several other scandals related to priests' sexual abuse of children, alleged corruption and infighting in the central bureaucracy.