Vatican hospital officials indicted for funding cardinal's flat

The Promoters of Justice of the Vatican City State have notified Giuseppe Profiti, the former president of the foundation, and Massimo Spina, the treasurer of the same foundation, of charges that they, as public officials, "used in an illicit way, to the advantage of an entrepreneur, Gianantonio Bandera, money belonging to the foundation, over which they had access due to the functions they covered". The two have been ordered to stand trial starting July 18.

The cardinal, who essentially served as the Vatican's number-two official after the pope from 2006 through October 2013, has been criticized for combining two previous apartments inside the Vatican into one reportedly 6,500-square-foot residence.

Bertone, 82, was the Vatican secretary of state for most of the pontificate of former Pope Benedict and was one of the most powerful men in the Holy See.

Bertone's comfortable lifestyle clashed with that of the pope, who shunned the large papal apartments in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace and has urged Church prelates to lead humble, frugal lives.

Profiti and Spina risk prison sentences of three to five years if convicted, under Vatican laws on conspiracy to commit a crime and misappropriation of funds.

According to the Vatican indictment, Profiti and Spina diverted the money directly to the head of the Italian construction company that did the work inside the Vatican.

While Bertone has not admitted any guilt in the matter, he made a large donation of 150,000 euros to the Bambino Gesu in December 2015 after a book published in Italy detailed the spending on his apartment.

The news comes on the heels of a damning report that said the hospital became dangerously overcrowded and unhygienic under Profiti's administration because it was "more aimed at profit than on caring for children". It was founded by a wealthy Italian family in 1869 and donated to the Vatican in 1924.

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