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Cardinal Pell should look into why I was ousted, says former Vatican bank chairman

Ousted Vatican bank chairman Ettore Gotti Tedeschi (Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi)

The ousted chairman of the Vatican bank has urged the cardinal overseeing Vatican financial reform to throughly examine the events that led to his dramatic departure in 2012.

In this week’s edition of the Catholic Herald, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi explains for the first time in detail why he believes he was ousted.

Dr Gotti Tedeschi says he is writing in response to an article by Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy, published by the Catholic Herald last month.

In the article, Cardinal Pell said the Vatican’s finances were in better shape than many had feared, thanks to the discovery of hundreds of millions of euros that were “tucked away in particular sectional accounts and did not appear on the balance sheet”.

Dr Gotti Tedeschi writes: “Cardinal Pell is absolutely right when he says the Holy See has a strong desire to comply with international standards of financial transparency. That is exactly what Benedict XVI set out to achieve when he launched sweeping reforms of the Vatican’s finances.”

Nine reasons were given at the time for his removal, but Dr Gotti Tedeschi says the reasons were “misleading” and that he is convinced he lost a vote of no confidence after he presented the board “with a plan that would have totally changed the role and governance of the bank”.

He says that a supervisory commission of cardinals did not ratify the board’s no-confidence vote as “some cardinals were supportive of my efforts and my professionalism, and refused to approve such a decision”.

Furthermore, he says, Benedict XVI was surprised by the vote and took a “decision to rehabilitate me immediately – a decision that was never implemented after Benedict XVI’s resignation” in February 2013.

He urges Cardinal Pell to examine documents which he says support his account and to look into the circumstances of his departure.

Dr Gotti Tedeschi’s article appears in this week’s edition of the Catholic Herald magazine and will be published online today.