Vatican hit by new scandal as hospital boss kills himself


Click to follow
The Independent Online

An embattled Vatican, already under pressure for the global scandal over clerical paedophilia, has been plunged into fresh controversy over its links to a hospital under investigation for alleged criminality.

Milan's chief prosecutor has announced that the city's San Raffaele hospital is under investigation for fraudulent bankruptcy. The case is in the media spotlight after the suicide of the hospital's administrator, Mario Cal.

Thanks to bad investments and profligate expenses unrelated to medical care – including personal aircraft, hotels in Sardinia, and mango plantations in South America – the hospital is on the verge of collapse, something that was said to have been distressing Mr Cal greatly, and would have proved a huge embarrassment to the Vatican.

In mid-September the Vatican proposed a €250m rescue package. But the proposals appear to have received a cool reception from the authorities. Now the Holy See has until next Monday to come with a better plan, or the institution is almost certain to be declared bankrupt.

Questions are being asked about the suicide and the nature of the institution in which it took place. Vatican expert Paolo Flores D'Arcais, editor of the cultural magazine MicoMega, told i: "I suspect we are talking about illegality and I hope sooner or later that prosecutors will investigate it."