Becciu Trial: A Steep Bill for the Vatican

July 12, 2022

The Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA) has just made public the sale of the London building at the heart of the Becciu trial. The deadweight loss exceeds 150 million euros for the Holy See.

“Good riddance!” This is probably the feeling that reigns at this beginning of summer, beyond the leonine walls, in the corridors of the apostolic palaces. It is now official: the Heritage Administration of the Apostolic See has – finally – completed the sale of the luxury building located at 60 Sloane Avenue in London, United Kingdom, a property at the heart of the lawsuit of the century which has been agitating the Vatican for several months.

Indeed, according to the magistrates, the Secretariat of State had spent more than 400 million euros for a building which was in fact worth 151 million.

Since July 1, 2022 in any case, it has been official that APSA has sold the scandalous building to Bain Capital for 215 million euros, which represents a deadweight loss of more than 150 million for the Holy See in this sad affair.

In order to appease the anger of donors to the Church, the Vatican press release specifies that “the losses incurred in relation to what had been spent for the purchase of this property have been transferred to the reserve of the Secretariat of State, without this in any way affecting the Peter’s Pence, and with it, the donations of the faithful.” But their confidence was largely shaken.

Once bitten, twice shy: the Secretariat for the Economy has appealed – in order to guarantee the transparency of the evaluation process – to the real estate broker Savills, also selected according to a supervised procedure run by several real estate advisers.

Thus, between September 2021 and the summer of 2022, several rounds of bidding were carried out around offers which were each subject to due diligence, in order to determine the buyer and the amount, and to finally be able to sign the deed of sale.

It now remains for the justice department of the Holy See to specify the responsibility of the ten people accused in various capacities within the framework of the incredible and historic trial which should still keep the international press in suspense for many weeks.