ROME—An Italian cardinal whose former office has been embroiled in a financial scandal resigned suddenly Thursday from his Vatican post and renounced his rights as a cardinal, a surprise escalation of an affair that has overshadowed that Holy See for the last year. The extraordinary move was announced without explanation in a terse evening communique from the Holy See press office.
Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu had been head of the office that oversees the canonization of saints. At age 72, he would still have been eligible for the next eight years to vote in a conclave to elect a future pope. Some Vatican watchers even spoke of him as a serious candidate for the papacy.
But for the last year, he has been shadowed by association with scandal that has touched several of his former subordinates.
He’s also been stripped of his duties (and privileges) as a cardinal. Quite unusual.