The Italian Cardinal who served as the Vatican's Number 2 official under Pope Benedict XVI, has rejected allegations that he mishandled A$21 million from Vatican bank accounts, reports the Religion News Service in NCR Online.
The German daily Bild Zeitung reported on Tuesday that Vatican regulators had opened an investigation into the allegations against former Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, citing unofficial church sources.
The newspaper said the money went to a TV production company, later identified as Lux Vide, that is owned by Cardinal Bertone's friend Ettore Bernabei, a former director general of Italian state broadcaster Rai.
Cardinal Bertone told the Italian news agency ANSA that there was 'no problem linked to this operation' and that everything had been conducted according to 'all the regulations' at the Vatican bank, officially known as the Institute for the Works of Religion.
The head of the Vatican press office, Fr Federico Lombardi, said on Tuesday that there was 'no criminal investigation' underway. That doesn't mean, however, that there aren't other probes underway.
Rene Bruelhart, who heads the financial watchdog agency, has refused to confirm or deny the report. A spokesman for the Vatican bank also declined to comment on the report.
Cardinal Bertone was appointed Secretary of State by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006 and served until last year, when Pope Francis replaced him with Cardinal Pietro Parolin.