By Wale Odunsi
Italian Cardinal Angelo Becciu on Friday claimed that Pope Francis forced him to resign.
He said the Catholic Church leader accused him of using Vatican money to help his family members.
Becciu, 72, left top position in Vatican’s sainthood cases department on Thursday.
The former official no longer has cardinal privileges, including participation in papal elections.
“The Holy Father explained to me that I supposedly favoured my brothers and their activities with money from the Secretariat of State, but I can explain,” Becciu told Domani.
Domani, La Repubblica, and other papers report that he gave at least $700,000 to a food charity cooperative run by his brother.
“I can confirm, it’s all accounted for. What’s wrong with that?” Becciu asked.
Also, the cardinal allegedly secured contracts worth “hundreds of thousands of Euros” for a company run by another brother, who supplies doors and windows.
“I have not stolen a single euro. I don’t know if I am under investigation, but if they are going to send me to trial, I will defend myself,” he said.