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Sistine Chapel Choir director resigns

The Sistine Chapel choir prepares to sing during the Good Friday service in St. Peter's Basilica (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

The choir has faced questions over financial irregularities

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Mgr Massimo Palombella as the Director of the Sistine Chapel Choir, the Vatican has announced.

The choir’s leadership has come under scrutiny after a financial scandal was revealed, prompting a Vatican investigation.

In 2018, an investigation was begun into alleged money laundering and embezzlement by Palombella and Michelangelo Nardella.

Nardella had been suspended after news broke of a financial scandal in the Choir in July 2018, which the Holy See Press Office confirmed in September that year by saying the Holy Father had authorized an investigation a few months before into the economic administration of the Choir.

On January 19, Pope Francis issued a motu proprio which transferred the Sistine Chapel Choir from the governance of the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household to the Office of Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations, thereby placing it under the oversight of Mgr Guido Marini, the master of ceremonies for papal liturgies.

Marini was also put in charge of drafting new bylaws for the choir, whose statutes had not been updated since 1969.

Pope Franics also appointed Archbishop Guido Pozzo as Superintendent of the Economy of the Sistine Chapel Choir in January.

The Vatican announced the interim Director of the Sistine Chapel Choir will be Mgr Marcos Pavan, a Brazilian priest who currently directs the boys’ division.