Milan, Italy, Nov 18, 2018 / 06:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- An Italian court has ordered Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò to pay back nearly 2 million euro of inheritance, plus interest and legal fees to his brother, Father Lorenzo Vigano.
Archbishop Vigano had been managing the brothers’ inheritance since their father’s death in 1961. According to Italian paper La Stampa, the brothers hold about 20 million euro in real estate, and about six million euro in cash.
The archbishop, who had been collecting money from the estate, was ordered to pay his brother back half of what he had collected – which amounted to 1.8 million euro, or more than 2 million U.S. dollars, plus fees.
The inheritance has reportedly been a cause of contention in their relationship for years – Fr. Lorenzo Vigano, a Jesuit biblical scholar who has lived in Chicago for years, has tried to sue over the inheritance numerous times. This is the first time he has succeeded in being rewarded any money.
The inheritance has also reportedly caused friction between Archbishop Vigano and his sister Rosanna, whom he paid 8,600 euro in 2014 to settle a lawsuit, according to The Catholic Universe.
Archbishop Vigano is the former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, a position he held from 2011-2016. His public letter of Aug. 26, accusing Pope Francis of knowing about the allegations of sexual misconduct against former cardinal Theodore McCarrick and failing to act, thrust him into the center of the debate about the Church sex abuse scandal this summer.
Vigano had previously made headlines in the 2011-2012 “Vatileaks” scandal, during which some documents from the office of Benedict XVI were leaked to Italian journalists. The documents revealed that Vigano had told the Pope that he couldn’t take up his assignment in the U.S. because he had to take care of his ailing brother, Lorenzo.
Lorenzo said in an interview at the time that while he had suffered a stroke, he had not been close to his brother in years due to conflicts over their inheritance, and that his illness was no reason for Vigano to reject his new position, according to La Stampa.
While Archbishop Vigano went into hiding in August, fearing for his safety after the publication of his letter on Francis and McCarrick, he has not remained silent. He has written two additional letters on the sex abuse scandal, and sent a message to the U.S. bishops ahead of their meeting this week, urging them to be “courageous shepherds” in the face of the sex abuse crisis.