Strong support from Francisco: "I don't want them to dirty Poli, he is a victim"

Cordiality and support. And a “very special grace”. In the intimacy of the Santa Marta residence, the Pope Francisco received for an hour and a half the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Mario Poli, and passed on his confidencein the midst of the scandal unleashed by the Vatican audit, which revealed the lack of internal controls in real estate operations carried out in the archdiocese.

As they trusted THE NATION Vatican sources, the pontiff is convinced that the cardinal primate is not involved in irregular maneuvers. “I don’t want Poli to get dirty. He is a victim”Francisco let transcend to a close friend.

Hours after the interview, Poli spread a message on YouTube to the community of Buenos Aires, in which he highlighted the meeting, which he received as “a special grace” and noted that they discussed various issues, although he did not mention the audit.

“I saw him very well, with some little problems in his knee. I asked him to bless the fruits of the Synod. We have talked about a lot of things, we pray for Argentina. I share the joy of the meeting”, said Poli, in a serene tone. He added that he visited various bodies of the Roman Curia and especially ratified his ‘fidelity to the Pope’”.

The meeting was “very warm”, reliable sources confirmed. And the Pope would have perceived certain tiredness in the cardinal due to the situation he faces as head of the archdioceseafter the strong impact caused by the observations of the audit of the Congregation for the Clergy. But the intention would prevail Poli remain in your duties, At least until the end of the year. In November he will reach the age of 75, the age limit established by canonical norms for exercising pastoral functions in the Church, and he should submit his resignation.

The meeting was alone and the private nature was given, even, by the fact that the audience was not included in Francisco’s official schedule of activities.

The meeting took place shortly after the Holy Father received a letter from the Argentine bishops, gathered in the plenary assembly of the Episcopate, who conveyed their closeness, affection and support. “It hurts us unfair mistreatment of you and your mission, especially in our country, probably moved by power interests and even bad intentions who seek to tarnish your image and confuse our people,” his former colleagues at the Episcopal Conference told him.

THE NATION could know that the Pope gave signs of some mistrust in the administrative management of some of those who accompany Cardinal Poli in the main archdiocese of the country. The auxiliary bishop and vicar general, Monsignor Enrique Eguia Seguidespite the fact that the audit report especially highlights his “availability and dedication of time”, in the attention of the inspectors of the Congregation for the Clergy sent last October to Buenos Aires.

“Cardinal Poli allowed himself to be advised by Eguía, who is responsible for these things, together with the priest Martin Brachtindicated in the report”, revealed a source when transmitting the francis thought, who knows like few others the operation of the archbishopric and the personnel who work there. These remarks are surprising in ecclesiastical circles, where the work of both religious is recognized.

The five-page audit exposes deficiencies in the administrative management of the archdiocese, reflected particularly in the absence of the functioning of the internal control organisms, that were not active in the last two years, especially during the pandemic.

Its about Economic Affairs Council, virtually paralyzed during the health emergency, and the College of Consultants, whose members had expired terms. In fact, Poli replaced both control organisms with the creation of the Delegation for Archdiocesan Administration which, unlike the other organizations, depended directly on the Archbishopric and whose members were questioned in the audit.

From the auditors’ report it emerges that the metropolitan curia divested from properties belonging to the Archbishopric, such as the House of the Catechist, in the neighborhood of Palermo, in an alienation of the patrimony that would not have had the authorizations of the Episcopate and the Holy See.

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