Sandro Magister carries a very disturbing report of a recent appointment by Pope Francis that was a achieved through active deception of the Holy Father. It involves a certain Monsignor Battista Ricca whose dossier that was placed before the Supreme Pontiff was carefully edited by a person or persons unknown to deceive the Pope. The result of this is that this Ricca is now "prelate" of the Institute for Works of Religion.
The black hole in Ricca's personal history is the period he spent in Uruguay, in Montevideo, on the northern shore of the Rio de la Plata, across from Buenos Aires.
Ricca arrived at this nunciature in 1999, when the mandate of the nuncio Francesco De Nittis was coming to an end. Previously he had served at the diplomatic missions of Congo, Algeria, Colombia, and finally Switzerland.
Here, in Bern, he had met and become friends with a captain of the Swiss army, Patrick Haari. The two arrived in Uruguay together. And Ricca asked that his friend be given a role and a residence in the nunciature.
The nuncio rejected the request. But a few months later he retired and Ricca, having become the chargé d'affaires “ad interim" until the appointment of the new nuncio, assigned Haari a residence in the nunciature, with a regular position and salary.
At the Vatican they let it go. The substitute for general affairs in the secretariat of state at the time was Giovanni Battista Re, a future cardinal, he too originally from the diocese of Brescia.
The intimacy of the relations between Ricca and Haari was so open as to scandalize numerous bishops, priests, and laity of that little South American country, not last the sisters who attended to the nunciature.
The new nuncio, Janusz Bolonek of Poland, who arrived in Montevideo at the beginning of 2000, also found that “ménage” intolerable immediately, and informed the Vatican authorities about it, insisting repeatedly to Haari that he should leave. But to no use, given his connections with Ricca.
In early 2001 Ricca also got into a scrape over his reckless conduct. One day, having gone as on other occasions - in spite of the warnings he had received - to Bulevar Artigas, to a meeting place for homosexuals, he was beaten and had to call some priests to take him back to the nunciature, with his face swollen.
In August of 2001, another mishap. In the middle of the night the elevator of the nunciature got stuck and in the early morning the firemen had to come. They found trapped in the car, together with Monsignor Ricca, a young man who was identified by the police authorities.
Nuncio Bolonek asked that Ricca be sent away from the nunciature and Haari fired immediately. And he got the go-ahead from the secretary of state, Cardinal Angelo Sodano.
Ricca, dragging his heels, was transferred to the nunciature of Trinidad and Tobago, where he remained until 2004. There as well he butted heads with the nuncio. Finally to be called to the Vatican and removed from diplomatic service on the ground.
As for Haari, in the process of leaving the nunciature he demanded that some of his luggage be sent to the Vatican as diplomatic baggage, to the address of Monsignor Ricca. Nuncio Bolonek refused, and the luggage ended up in a building outside of the nunciature. Where it remained for a few years, until from Rome Ricca said that he didn't want to have anything to do with it anymore.
Once the luggage was opened to get rid of its contents - as decided by the nuncio Bolonek - a pistol was found in it, which was handed over to the Uruguayan authorities, and in addition to personal effects, an enormous quantity of condoms and pornographic material.