|Facebook picture - Francesca Chaouqui|
Sexting Drama In Vatican Scandals
Many of those who had not yet read the alleged transcripts of wiretapped info regarding the ongoing trial in the Vatican City were surprised by a Facebook post by Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui—the lady at the center of what has now been hashtagged #VatiLeaks 2—in which she said: “Those who are concerned about the reputation of my cousin, aged 36, should know that no cousin of mine with that name and that age actually exists as all my relatives on FB can confirm.”
|Vatican Courtroom - Opening Proceedings for the VatiLeaks Trial|
The post generated curiosity and led many to the pages of QN—Quotidiano Nazionale—as well as other national newspapers in Italy that had gleefully published excerpts of the alleged sexting (via Whatsapp) of Ms. Chaouqui and her co-defendant, the Spanish prelate, Monsignor Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda. The two were believed to be close while serving on Cosea, a Vatican commission for the study and address of economic and administrative structures of the Holy see, which was dissolved last year. Both are now standing trial in the Vatican, accused of being the sources of classified information leaks that have since been used in two published books—“Avarizia” (Avarice) by Emiliano Fittipaldi and “Via Crucis” by Gianluigi Nuzzi.
|Chaouqui (Facebook picture)|
|Monsignor Vallejo Balda|
In one of the spiciest passages of the published sexting, Ms. Chaouqui reportedly told Monsignor Balda: “Listen, now that you are going to Sosti (her hometown in Calabria, a South Western region of Italy), my Mom will take you to Silvana, she’s perfect and she’s my cousin, and that way too the genetic heritage will be saved. You can tell me what you think afterwards. She’s 36 years-old and she’s smooth.”
The prelate, according to the alleged transcript, seemed interested, responding: “Hmmmmm,” following which Ms. Chaouqui reportedly gave him a heads-up: “On Tuesday she’ll come to your house for sex, ok? (note-the untranslated version contained the most vulgar sex phrase in the Italian vocabulary).”
|Three of the five defendants - Day 1 of the trial|
Newspaper reports said investigators had confirmed that Monsignor Balda did, in fact, take the trip to Ms. Chaouqui’s hometown of Sosti.
On 26 April 2015, she reportedly sent him a message which, in the absence of a text sequence, seemed to have a political undertone: “I am however now betting on another prelate. I’ve decided, I’m betting on Misto.”
No sooner had she sent it than she allegedly reverted back to sexting, urging Monsignor Balda to take her up on the offer: “Silvana wants to have sex (the untranslated version was laden with vulgarity), what are we going to do about that?”
“Not me,” was Monsignor Balda’s alleged reply, to which Ms. Chaouqui reportedly reacted with the following text:
“You are perfect. Silvana is really smooth, why is that not okay?”
“Forget it,” Monsignor Balda was quoted as saying. “She’s ugly.”
|Chaouqui & Monsignor Balda (ANSA)|
Reports said Ms. Chaouqui, at that point, sent him a follow-up text: “The psychiatrist had said to have you entertained. So on Monday, Negroni until death.” It was not quite clear if Negroni in the text was a reference to a cocktail of the same name.
Other details in the reported wiretap excerpts included veiled threats from Ms. Chaouqui when the prelate failed to play along and/or agree to specific requests and favors. He allegedly told her: “We can’t promise things that are not possible,” to which she responded: “Are you depressed? Have sex (a vulgar phrase used in the untranslated text) so you can release the tension.”
|Chaouqui's Facebook Profile picture|
In her first reaction to the published messages, Ms. Chaouqui said in a Facebook post: “Balda is a carefree fellow, a character beyond the collective imagination of common priesthood, one who jokes with everyone, drinks with friends, laughs. He was fun and cheerful until we quarreled and then the devil-may-care attitude was transformed into sheer viciousness.”
In another Facebook post that was subsequently removed, she threatened to sue the journalists covering her trial for publishing the messages and calling her a whistle-blower. “Vaticanists,” she said. “Journalists, lowly receivers of court documents that I, as a defendant, can’t have access to for more than 20 minutes. I challenge you - prove before a court of law that I am the source of the leaks...”