Investigators are examining an envelope with three bullets inside, and why this was posted to the world’s highest-ranking Catholic leader.
Authorities intercepted the suspicious container in Milan, Italy, on Aug. 9. Although the back of the envelope had no sender details, Carabinieri Provincial Command confirmed the front face had a French stamp attached. Agents believe the item was posted from France.
The envelope was addressed with a ballpoint pen to Pope Francis at “il Papa, Città del Vaticano.” Agents also recovered three 9 millimeter Flobert pellets, an unreferenced deposit slip for 10 euros ($11.70), and a letter about the trial of Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu and nine other individuals for allegedly improper Vatican property purchases.
Investigators suspect a Peschiera Borromeo post office employee could be responsible, and believe the worker is already known to the Vatican gendarmes according to local daily newspaper Corriere della Sera.
The trial in question began on July 27, and is widely reported to be the most scandalous in the history of the Vatican.
Becciu is arguably the most “visible face” of the scandal. The cardinal, financial speculators and lawyers are accused of embezzlement, fraud, extortion, money laundering, and abuse of power.
The former secretary for general affairs at the Holy See’s Secretariat of State is accused of investing 200 million euros ($234 million) in a London luxury building during 2014. According to records, the Vatican secretariat of state bought the building, which used to be a warehouse for Harrods stores, a total of three times.
This resulted in a major investigation into possible corruption concerning the Vatican’s real estate investments.
The trial is expected to continue in October.