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Italian Cardinal Bertone donates to medical research in wake of scandal

A former high official in the Vatican, Cardinal Bertone is donating 150,000 euros to medical research. His penthouse apartment was reportedly renovated using funds from a Vatican-owned children's hospital.

Italian Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone will be donating some 150,000 euros ($165,000) for
research on orphan diseases.

"Cardinal Bertone, recognizing that what happened damaged the Bambino Gesu, has decided to help us, devolving the sum of 150,000 euros," Bambino Gesu Hospital President Mariella Enoc told reporters on Saturday.

The cardinal allegedly received 200,000 euros from the Foundation of the Ospedale Bambino Gesu, which raises funds for the children's hospital, in order to refurnish his luxury lodgings overlooking Saint Peter's Square.

The 81-year-old cardinal has consistently denied the allegations, saying the flat is shared with a community of nuns who at times take care of him.

Bertone was formerly the secretary of state, the Vatican's No. 2 official, under Pope Benedict XVI and for the first months of Pope Francis' papacy. He no longer holds any top Vatican post.

Journalists on trial

The incident was exposed in a book released last month by Italian investigative journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi.

Fittipaldi and another journalist are standing trial at the Vatican along with three others for publishing documents that were allegedly obtained illegally.

The Vatican's State Secretary Cardinal Pietro Parolin - Bertone's predecessor - made a pre-Christmas visit to the hospital, where he said the issue was "solved."

"What I can say is that the issue is being solved, or rather, has been positively solved," said Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin.

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ls/jm (AP, AFP, dpa)

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