Vatican watchdog’s spending is slammed in magazine report

Los Angeles Times


The Australian cardinal handpicked by Pope Francis to cut outlays and shed light on the Vatican’s murky finances has been accused of spending about $560,000 in six months by flying business class and using large sums on salaries and office furniture.

The allegations, contained in leaked figures published by Italian magazine L’Espresso on Friday, suggest Cardinal George Pell also spent $2,800 on religious robes at a tailor and about $5,200 on kitchen sink fittings.

Despite Francis’ decision to move into humble dwellings at the Vatican, Pell has spent more than $3,200 a month to rent an office and apartment at an upmarket address where he spent nearly $53,000 on furniture, according to the allegations.

After his move to Rome to spearhead Francis’ mission to free up Vatican funds for the poor, the former archbishop of Sydney said he would try to save the Vatican “millions, if not tens of millions” of dollars a year.

Since then, he has flown business class and paid an assistant he brought from Australia a $16,860-a-month salary, the magazine reported, citing leaked Vatican documents.

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