PopeWatch: Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui Arrested



When PopeWatch first mentioned Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui back on November 13, 2013 he wrote the following:

PopeWatch has noticed that the closer one pays attention to the day to day operations of the Vatican the more one becomes convinced that the Roman Catholic Church is the True Faith.  Why?  Well for the same reason that a Jewish merchant converted to Catholicism in the Renaissance.  He had expressed an interest in converting to a Catholic merchant friend of his.  He announced to his friend that he was going to Rome to see the operation of the curia up close.  His friend who knew the corruption at Rome was aghast and assumed that his friend would lose all interest in converting.  Instead his friend came back and announced that he was being baptized in a month.  His friend was happy, but asked him why.  “At Rome I saw how the curia operates.  If I operated that way I would be bankrupt in a week.  The Church however has been going strong in spite of this for sixteen centuries.  It must be from God!”

An example of the loopiness that one often sees in close observation of the Vatican may be summed up in Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui:

The woman whose appointment as a PR representative for the Vatican raised eyebrows, has been arrested, per the Vatican Insider:


Spanish monsignor Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda, 54, Secretary of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See and Italian PR woman Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, 33, are under arrest in the Vatican. The arrests have been validated but the woman was released because she collaborated in the investigations. The investigation carried out by the Vatican Gendarmerie and judiciary  has apparently identified them as the alleged “poison pen letter writers” responsible for the latest document leak: two books that are yet to be published are based on the content of these documents. The books are titled “Avarizia” and “Via Crucis” and have been written by Emiliano Fittipaldi of Italian news magazine L’Espresso and journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, of Italian-based mass media company, Mediaset, respectively.


Vallejo Balda and Chaouqui were both members – the former was secretary, the latter was a member –  of the commission in charge of examining and advising on the organisation of the economic and administrative structure of the Holy See (COSEA), established in July 2013 to examine the accounts and papers of all dicasteries and to suggest reforms in order to elucidate expenditures and improve overall management.


It was Vallejo himself, the Prefecture’s number two man, who put Chaouqui forward as a candidate for the commission (the idea is that the Prefecture will go once Curia reform is complete). But doubts and criticisms were raised in the weeks after Chaouqui’s appointment by the Pope: on Twitter, she claimed Benedict XVI had “leukaemia” while other messages she wrote, which were even more grave, took a swipe at the then Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone and Italian former minister Tremonti. Chaouqui defended herself by saying she was the victim of false accusations that stemmed from jealousies with regard to her new role and complained that strangers had been interfering with her Twitter account.


In light of today’s clamorous turning point, the PR woman’s interview with journalist Denise Pardo published on the L’Espresso website on 17 September 2013, appears significant. In the interview, Chaouqui stated that she had access “to highly confidential documets” and also talked about her friendship with journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi.

Go here to read the rest.  Background on her from the first PopeWatch featuring her:


Francesca Chaougiu

The Holy See has been embarrassed by claims that Pope Francis’s new PR had accused a senior cleric of corruption and said that Pope Benedict XVI had leukaemia in tweets she made before she got the job.

The Vatican has reportedly launched an inquiry into the hiring of Francesca Chaouqui, 30, who was appointed as PR officer for a new papal committee set up to overhaul the Vatican’s financial administration in July.

Before securing the job, Chaouqui had extensively tweeted about Vatican affairs, often not mincing her words, giving rise to speculation that she had access to some degree of confidential information.

Sandro Magister at Chiesa gives us the background on this odd appointee:

The Vatican secretariat of state had accurate information about her a number of months before her appointment, last July 18, as a member of the commission for the reorganization of the financial-administrative offices of the Holy See, with the ability to access all of the most confidential documents.

But in creating this commission and in appointing its eight members, Pope Francis acted autonomously. The secretariat of state was not involved in it, and received the news only after the fact.

The secretariat of state had been put on early alert in the spring of 2012 by some articles that appeared in the most widely read progressive Italian newspaper, “La Repubblica.”

In them it was maintained that Paolo Gabriele, the butler of Benedict XVI arrested and sentenced for stealing from the pope a an enormous number of confidential documents that were later given to the press, was not the only one in the curia to have acted in that way, but like him and after him there were others still in action, including a woman.

The “revelations” relative to this affair did not give the names of the protagonists. Including the latest and most spectacular anonymous interview, published in “la Repubblica” on March 7, 2013, a few days before the conclave that elected pope Bergoglio.

The interviewee, however, was a person so talkative as to swear up and down that she was the informant for the articles in “la Repubblica”: Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, 32, of a Moroccan father and Calabrian mother, residing in Rome, married, employed in public relations from 2007 to 2009 in the international law offices of Pavia & Ansaldo, then from 2010 in the offices of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, and finally since 2013 in the offices of Ernst & Young, with a vast network of real or boasted relationships with journalists, politicians, businessmen, prelates, cardinals.

When, during those days of conclave, the identity of the anonymous informer of “la Repubblica” also came to the attention of the substitute secretary of state, Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu, he protested to the newspaper. Which in effect stopped publishing any more articles visibly traceable to the Chaouqui “source.”

On July 18, therefore, the news of the appointment by the pope of this young “PR” specialist to the commission for the reorganization of the Vatican administration left dumfounded those who were aware of the background.

But even for those who may have been in the dark it would have been very easy to get an idea of this character. It was enough to open her Twitter page, look at her profile, scroll through the messages.

One would have gathered from this, among other things, that Francesca Chaouqui has a direct connection with Gianluigi Nuzzi, the journalist who received and published the documents stolen from Benedict XVI by his unfaithful butler, and is an assiduous informer of the website dagospia.com, the source most widely followed in Italy for gossip and slander on the Vatican.

As a precaution, on July 23 Francesca Chaouqui removed her photo (the one reproduced above) and on August 10 deactivated her Twitter page. But too late, and in an incomplete form.

A Pope of course appoints thousands of people and it perhaps matters little that one of his appointees appears to be a self promoting leaker.  However this does indicate that Pope Francis is not a detail man and that unless he surrounds himself with men who are,  Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui may be only one of many embarrassments for his pontificate.

That last sentence has proved quite prophetic.

More to explorer


  1. The look of…..innocence….is not what she was going for in her head shot.

    An opening at Hillary.com might be of interest for miss Chaouqui. She would fit in perfectly.

  2. I’d prefer that we get her a job as Kasper’s executive secretary and wait for the leaks to flow…..
    For some reason, looking at her demure picture, I don’t see Mother Theresa.

  3. The only thing that surprises me about this incident of Vatican corruption is that Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui is a beautiful woman and not some handsome young stud barely out of his teens.

  4. Unrelated, but could you consider not having such large chunks of the posts be hyperlinked? I find it distracting and difficult to read?

  5. Please allow me to plea for my mom, 84, and on her death bed.

    I’m jumping in on this thread because she can use the prayers from this family known as TAC.

    She has been suffering for 18 months in the Nursing Home, and finally her wishes to be home with her Lord is nearly granted. With your help a company of Holy Angels will protect her on her journey home.

    She was/is a mother of five boys, no girls…now you know her cause for sainthood… seriously. Can you imagine five boys in the sixties and seventies? Many of you can because of your age, so suffice to say, she earned her wings trying to keep us on the straight and narrow.

    You will love her when you meet her in Heaven. Her name is Joan. Irish and French Indian. I love her so. As I was singing hymn’s to her this afternoon she was able to crack a smile under the weight of pain medication that has been needed to fight the back pain from collapsed disks she’s been fighting. She opted out of procedures to help counter the pain via surgery. Now she is close to the threshold.

    I’ve only been a part of your family for two or three years now, however I feel as though we have chatted and bantered for much longer.
    I respect your insights and have grown some because of your Faith and your hours of study in different venues. Most helpful is your love for God and neighbor, and the reality that cheap Mercy can hinder a souls advance to love of God and neighbor. For your sharing your Faith journey I am deeply grateful.

    My mom needs your prayers now..okay.

    Thanks in advance, and God be with you.

  6. I just said an Our Father, Hail Mary and glory Be for your mom, Philip.
    Ms. Chaouqui does not look like a Vatican employee, and just on that basis, should not have ever been a Vatican employee.
    Such a woman with her looks can cause near occasions of sin for heterosexual celibate men of damn near any age.

    The Vatican is apparently run by people with the organizational skills and management talent and effectiveness of the Three Stooges, without the wit or humor.

  7. Oremus pro matre Philipi:
    Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

  8. Paul.
    Mom and Dad loved the TLM.
    They introduced it to me in 1997 when I was still “lost in my own selfishness,” and never gave up on me. I’ll never forget Fr. Hardon and my parents… they introduced me to him at a Marian conference in 97′, soon afterwards I began the walk back to my Father’s Home…tired of eating the leftovers from the pigs after waisting my inheritance.
    Fr. John Hardon – St. Maximilian Kolbe – The lil’ flower – and countless Angels in the celestial court, all praying for my return home. Mom and Dad….never giving up on me…what a life…a wonderful Life.

    Thanks Paul.

  9. Foxfier.

    🙂 bitter sweet, this Valley of tears. You and other sisters, brothers and friends in Christ help me pass through it. Knowledge and Trust of the Holy Hill keeps us on the narrow path…step by step. Soon, the Transfiguration!
    Soon the everlasting hills!

  10. My mother passed in January 2004 after months in hospital on a respirator, dialysis, etc. Her last Christmas, I brought to her a music box. It made her smile. I rarely allow myself emotion. I wept (no one saw it) when Mom left me.
    I like to think that Mom is, right this moment, discussing child-rearing with Our Blessed Mother.
    The Fourth Glorious Mystery, The Assumption. We pray for a holy death. Think of the glorious assumption of Mary into Heaven when she was united with her divine son.
    Tonight, the special intention of my Rosary will be for your Mom.

  11. T Shaw.

    Simply beautiful.
    We appreciate yours and all lovers of Truth prayers for mom tonight.
    Our hearts are less heavy. Mom is benefiting from them…I know it. Can’t prove it..but I know it! Efficacious. No doubt about it.
    Thank you.

  12. Prayers of thanks for your mother’s life and love.
    “May angels lead you into paradise; upon your arrival, may the martyrs receive you and lead you to the holy city of Jerusalem. May the ranks of angels receive you, and with Lazarus, once a poor man, may you have eternal rest.”

  13. ‘You will love her when you meet her in Heaven. Her name is Joan’
    Thank you for letting us know .
    Have prayed for patience of late in handmaid duties for mine and appreciate the wider perspective. She must know because she has the comfort of her mother, father, and brother living here with her in her dreams.

  14. Anzlyne, Patricia, Michael Dowd and Don L.;
    Thank you. I was thinking how much were in your debt for your wonderful offerings, then the Lord spoke in my morning Prayers. Romans 13:8-10; “Owe no debt to anyone EXCEPT the debt that binds us to love one another. He who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.”

    You. All of you are fulfilling the law with your love for Joan, my mom. This reading is part of today’s reading in our Holy Church.

    Thank God for God. Always at our side. Always a comfort and constant confirmation in our struggle and sorrow. You too are manifestation’s of his Love.
    Thanks so much.
    I’m heading off to hold her hand and pray at her side. Jesus…WE trust in YOU!

  15. Thank you Don. Love knows no boundaries.

    Heading home for rest. Good family vigil today. I wonder how she received it in her state. Was her guardian angel able to provide clarity, so she could participate in the stories, the rosaries, the hymns?

    I know that isn’t important.. knowing such things, but I just wondered.

    What I do know is that she is in God’s hands.
    Our Lady has her protected under her mantle.
    The shoreline is visible.
    Her horizon is different than ours…for we are still to low to see what she is seeing. She is climbing the mountain.

    Thanks for all your prayers… extended family.
    God’s choicest graces be yours.

  16. Wow and wow some more.
    Mom passed away at 12:15 this morning… the departure was peaceful and in God’s timing.

    Thanks for your help.

    Now the fun.

    Today is the Dedication of St.John Lateran and feast day of Bishop of Ireland, Saint Benignus. (d. 467)
    Our Irish claim from my mom Joan Ona Taylor is that the Taylor’s settled in County Armagh sometime in the 13 century.. I’m told.

    Bishop Benignus is known as Saint Benignus of Armagh!

    Thanks faithful for your efficacious prayers and sacrifices.

    Thank you!

  17. Five days of crashing waves of tears Donald.
    The vigil was beautiful and ugly.
    The former was witnessing the souls that loved and served her in the home…extended family. They held her hand, kissed her and spoke lovingly of the heart that touched their hearts. The later was the struggle. The separation of body from soul. The fact that you can not live “in two worlds.” -Thoreau..I believe.

    I pulled out all the prayers and sought support of many religious in our area, including the cloisters of the Carmelite order. The third order too. They we’re meeting at the Carmel when I sought help from Sister. They joined in. Saint Joseph oil…chaplet’s..rosaries.. Litany’s too…then when the Lord Wills, then the departure. Her voyage home on an Armagh Saint’s feast day was a smile creator in a few days of deep sadness.

    We all know sadness… May We All Know Joy too. Peace and thanks once more.

  18. Philip, as the years go by, memories of her will someday become a beautiful blessing. My prayers for both her and you, and your faith at a time such as this is an encouragement to me.

  19. Good morning DonL.

    It’s beautiful.
    My Holy Hour at Holy Rosary is from 5pm-6pm. When I knelt down before Jesus at 5 o’clock tears of joy rolled down and thanksgiving prayers dominated my thoughts.. not the sadness that had clouded our family last week. That’s God! That is His power over death. That is our goal! When I found the Saint of the day it was when I had returned home..6:15 or so. My thanksgiving continued at the sublime thought of the Taylor clan lead by the Holy Bishop, welcoming Joan home.

    God IS good ALL the time….for he turns sadness into JOY!

  20. DonL.

    It was just prior to 6:15pm. I just looked up my post from last night.

    The Faith I have was gifted pure and simple.
    He who gives it also calls for a return on investment. My witness is in part, a loving installment plan. Give the very best this Christmas… Give Jesus. My father had a stamp made with that statement. Whenever he mailed correspondence to his many treasured clients, he always stamped the back of the envelopes with it. Regardless of season! I’m learning. Thanks Dad…give mom a kiss for me.

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