Vatican 'used charity money to buy London property'

St Peter's Square, Vatican City

 VATICAN CITY – The Vatican Secretariat of State is suspected of having used money given to the Church as charity to buy property in London. The Secretariat has 650 million euros which is lawful but extrabudgetary and is mostly made up of donations, reports La Repubblica.  This is the money which has allegedly been used to buy property in Chelsea through offshore accounts, with the help of Credit Suisse. 

 These donations, otherwise known as 'Peter's Pence' are encouraged by the Vatican as a way to fund the church's support of the poor.

 The Secretariat always manages its own money, but is now facing a fight with the Institute for the Works of Religion, otherwise known as the Vatican bank.

 Gian Franco Mammì, the director general of the bank and a longstanding friend of Pope Francis, denounced the secretariat for alleged abuse of office, embezzlement, fraud and money laundering on July 2.

 About 500 million euros was put into financial operations which show “glaring irregularities,” says the Vatican Office of the Auditor General.

 According to Il Messaggero, the Secretariat need to pay off a loan of 150 million by next April or they will lose control of the property.  Mammì seems reluctant to transfer this money to the Secretariat, and if he refuses to do so, the money invested will be lost.