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World Meeting of Families ‘not affected’ by allegations against Vatican archbishop

Archbishop Chaput greets Archbishop Paglia at the Vatican in March 2014 (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

An Italian investigation into a Vatican archbishop’s financial affairs will not affect this year’s World Meeting of Families, the Archbishop of Philadelphia has said.

Archbishop Charles Chaput said he was saddened to learn that Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, head of the Pontifical Council for the Family and lead Vatican organiser of September’s World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, is under investigation by Italian prosecutors for alleged embezzlement, “and will pray for him”.

“At the same time,” Archbishop Chaput said, “I assure everyone that matters facing him do not impact our plans for September. We continue to work without interruption and joyfully anticipate welcoming our Holy Father and the world to Philadelphia later this year.”

Reports in European media outlets say the investigation stems from 2011 when the archbishop led the Diocese of Terni in Italy, and diocesan funds may have been used improperly in a scheme to purchase then resell a 14th-century Italian castle at a profit.

A diocesan financial officer at the time was also the head of an Italian firm that purchased the property, which today remains undeveloped. Prosecutors named the archbishop as one of the people being investigated. No charges have been filed.